Transport Information for Parents

Transport Information for Parents

Below are some frequently asked questions that parents may have with regards the transfer of their baby:

  • Why is my baby being transferred?

    Some babies need more complex care than the local unit can provide.  Plans are then made for transfer to the nearest unit able to provide the right level of care.  This can happen sometimes before birth and sometimes after birth.  Transfer may take place either because:

      - your baby has been born very early and requires specialist   treatment

      -your baby is sick and requires specialist treatment

      -to attend clinc appointments in another hospital

      -to have surgery at another hospital

      - your local unit is full (which happens occasionally)

      -to go back to a hospital closer to home

    Babies are only transferred if it is really necessary.  You can have confidence that your local team is ensuring the best care for you and your baby.

  • What is 'emergency transfer'?

    These are moves not planned in advance where a baby needs to be transferred from one hospital to another for specialist care.  Once your local hospital contacts the transport team they aim to travel by ambulance to your local hospital as soon as possible.  The transport team will ensure that the baby is in the best condition possible before moving to the specialist unit.  Sometimes they may decide that the baby is too sick to move and transfer may have to be deferred until the baby’s condition improves.  The transport team aim to work closely with the home unit, the specialist units and yourself to make the best decision for the care of your baby. 

  • Will I be transferred to be with my baby?

    In the unfortunate situation of your baby needing to be transferred, the referring hospital will do what they can to make sure that mother and baby are cared for in the same hospital. If the mother is still an inpatient after the delivery, the midwifery team will arrange a transfer to the midwifery team at the same hospital as the baby. There can be a delay if the obstetricians feel that mother is not well enough to be moved at present.  However other members of the family may come to see the baby.  

     

    If the mother has been discharged from the midwifery services, the referring neonatal team will make enquiries with the receiving hospital to try and arrange accommodation for the parents if required. Every effort is made to support parents in this way who are being moved away from home, though there are some rare occasions where accommodation is not available immediately.

  • Who will accompany my baby when he/she is transferred?

    The transport team will consist of a number of different team members, each with an important role to play in the safe transfer of your baby. There will be combination of transport nurse, advanced neonatal nurse practitioner, consultant, and driver. There may be additional people if they are having some transport training, or in the cases of some research projects.

  • Can I travel with my baby?

    Where possible, parents are encouraged to travel to the new hospital in the vehicle. However there are times when it might not be safe or possible for you to travel in this way, for example if the mother has recently delivered, or had a c-section. People with extreme anxiety or travel sickness may also benefit from travelling with a relative, as they can find the situation quite overwhelming. The transport team will talk to you about the options to travel with them when they are with your baby. If you have any difficulties regarding transport please talk to the neonatal team at your home unit as early as possible so that you are not separated from your child any longer than necessary. If you do drive yourselves, please do not attempt to keep up with the ambulance in your own vehicle - it is very dangerous if you try to do this. The ambulances are driven by skilled drivers who have special expertise in travelling under emergency conditions.

  • Will my baby be safe during the transfer?

    The transport team will work closely with the neonatal team at your home unit to ensure that your baby is in the best condition possible before transfer.  The members of the transport team will talk to you prior to transfer and let you know about the degree of risk expected during the transfer.  This will of course vary with how sick your baby is at the time of transfer. 

  • I have booked my obstetric care at my local unit but my baby is being transferred elsewhere, why is this?

    Some babies need more complex care than the local unit can provide.  Plans are then made for transfer to the nearest unit able to provide the right care.  This can happen sometimes before birth and sometimes after birth.  Transfer may take place either because:

    -your baby has been born very early

    -your baby is sick and needs more help

    -your local unit is full (which happens occasionally)

    Babies are only transferred if it is really necessary.  You can have confidence that your local team is ensuring the best care for you and your baby.

  • What are 'back transfers' or 'repatriations'?

    If your baby has to be transferred to a specialist unit then every effort would be made to get the baby back to your home hospital as soon as possible.  The staff in your local unit will work with you to ensure you are prepared to take your baby home when the time is right.