For patients
& visitors

Neonatal unit

Care of the sick and preterm newborn.

Ward details

The neonatal unit is a designated Level 2 unit that cares for preterm babies born at 27 weeks gestation and babies who are sick at birth.

The unit is has a designated pathway for preterm babies less than 27/40 gestation within the North East London Network. We have 18 cots, comprising of two intensive care, three high dependency and 13 for special care. Babies admitted to the unit include preterm and term babies with a variety of conditions including respiratory, cardiac, congenital and metabolic problems.

Babies are transferred to Level 3 specialist centers when they need surgical or other specialised treatment.  It is Southend Hospital's policy to transfer babies under twenty seven weeks but some may be kept if the consultant feels it is in the baby's best interest and the designated tertiary center is in agreement.

The neonatal audit, which is carried out yearly, continues to show excellent outcomes and compares above national standards. The perinatal mortality scoring is below regional norms. The maternity and neonatal unit maintains links with outside bodies such as the National Childbirth Trust and Bliss. Babies can be discharged to their families earlier if they have specific problems that can be monitored by the community Paediatric team.

The unit has an equipment replacement programme which allows for the purchase of the most up to date high tech equipment on a yearly basis.

Consultant rounds are held daily between 10.00 and 12.00 and parents are invited to attend.

Staffing levels and development

There are always a minimum of five and a maximum of seven staff on duty per shift. At least two members are certified in neonatal intensive care. This skill mix ensures high quality delivery of care to the babies and their families and is effective for supporting the learners.

There is also includes a neonatal practice educator who provides teaching for student nurses, qualified staff, post registered, clerical and domestic staff, staff from wards with paediatric interest, work experience students, junior medical staff and medical students.

There is an on-going commitment to enhancing practice and staff development. 

The maternity unit is seeking Baby Friendly status in line with World Health Organization recommendations for the establishment of breastfeeding and the neonatal unit is actively involved in achieving this goal.

The neonatal unit echoes the Trust's commitment to training and development of all staff.


Sister Jen Gates

Ward telephone number

01702 385186


2nd floor, Cardigan wing


Care of sick and preterm newborns

Business unit

Women's and children's

Visiting and other instructions

Open access to parents and siblings.

All other visitors (including grandparents) daily between 07.00 to 21.00 in line with Trust visiting times in the presence of one or both parents.

Max 2 people at a cot at any time, no children allowed to visit under 16 years (other than siblings) school uniform should not be worn. 

Consultant rounds are held daily between 10.00 and 12.00 and parents are invited to attend.

The patients have quiet time between 13.00 - 14.00 and 20.30 - 21.30 (subject to change) to promote and encourage rest and development when all non-essential interventions are avoided where possible.

Babies on this unit will be under the care of one or more of these consultants 


  • Dr Arfa Khan
  • Dr Anupam Shrivastava
  • Dr Naina Emcy
  • Dr Fathel Awadalla
  • Dr Ravi Chetan
  • Dr Isabel Margarson
  • Dr Parthasaradhi Rachakonda
  • Dr Mokhlesur Rahman
  • Dr Thilani Ranasinghe


Specialist teams  who care for patients on this ward

The Unit has a dedicated a Practice Educator and two Enhanced Nurse Practitioners who research and implement new initiatives, to ensure the highest quality of care are given to patients. 

Postal address

Neonatal unit
Southend Hospital
Prittlewell Chase
Westcliff on Sea