Whangārei Hospital Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) New Location and Name Change | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Whangārei Hospital Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) New Location and Name Change

On 21 May, the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Whangārei Hospital will relocate to Level 1, Te Kotuku Building, Whangārei Hospital Campus, Hospital Rd, Whangārei.

From that day (21 May 2024), SCBU will be known as the Neonatal Unit, which aligns with other neonatal units nationwide.

The Neonatal Unit at Whangārei Hospital provides comprehensive care for unwell or premature babies from the Te Tai Tokerau region. It is staffed by experienced neonatal nurses and specialist paediatricians. 

The services provided by the Neonatal Unit are not changing. These services include:

  • Care for unwell or premature babies born in Te Tai Tokerau and greater than 32 weeks gestation 
  • Care for premature babies born less than 32 weeks in Te Tai Tokerau until transfer to a Tertiary Hospital 
  • Transfer to Auckland neonatal intensive care unit for any baby requiring specialist services and care not provided in Te Tai Tokerau 
  • Care for babies returning from a larger centre (once stable) for ongoing care before discharge home 
  • Specialist paediatricians provide antenatal consultation and attend the birth for women with specific risk factors (for example, twin pregnancies) 
  • Assessment of babies in the hospitals' postnatal wards 
  • Follow-up clinics after discharge, particularly for babies born prematurely or having other growth or development difficulties.

Te Kotuku has been extended as part of a $49.5 million programme of critical capacity works via a vertical extension to the existing Te Kotuku facility and includes:

  •  a 10-cot neonatal unit
  •  a 22-bed paediatric ward and a 4-bed acute assessment unit
  •  a modern, fit-for-purpose medical laboratory.

The new extension is the first step in creating a parent, tamariki, and pēpi health hub.  The new Child Health Centre - Tira Ora is being constructed adjacent to the Te Kotuku building and is expected to be completed in 2026. 

To help protect patients, whānau and staff, the number of tamariki and whānau visiting the neonatal unit is restricted, and only parents or caregivers may visit. 

Please call 09 430 4100 and ask to be put through to the neonatal unit clinical nurse manager to arrange a visit.

Visitors to Te Kotuku can access carpark seven (7) via Hospital Road.

Anyone wishing to park on-site at Whangārei Hospital pays a parking fee Monday through Friday, 8.30 am—5 pm. 

The first one (1) hour is free for the public. Weekends and after 5 pm during the week are also free.

Motorbikes and bicycles can park for free every day.

Image: Some of our wonderful Neonatal Nurses 

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