Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)

The Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) is an eight cot unit. Babies are admitted to the unit from 32 weeks gestation. Babies who are born earlier than this are transferred to a tertiary hospital. It is a family centred unit, where parents are not considered to be visitors, but regarded as part of the team caring for your baby. As parents you are encouraged to be involved with your baby’s care.

There are eight paediatricians working with the service. The paediatricians are rostered to work with both SCBU and the childrens ward. Junior doctors support the paediatricians on ward rounds.

The day to day running of SCBU is supported by an associate clinical nurse manager. Our nurses are rostered in 12-hour shifts and are supported by a multidisciplinary team of midwives, social workers, lactation consultants and Takawaenga (Māori health liaison). Chaplains are available on request.

There are boarder rooms available for mothers while their babies are in SCBU. If a mother is not well enough to be in SCBU, she will remain in the maternity unit until she can be discharged.

When a baby is close to being discharged home, parents can room with baby to ensure they are confident in providing the required care. Meals are provided when parents are boarders or rooming in.

Sometimes it is necessary to transfer a baby to Auckland Starship Hospital or National Women’s Hospital for special care. The paediatrician will discuss this with the parents if transfer is necessary. They will be transferred back to Whangārei as soon as possible.


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Special Care Baby Unit
First Floor
Whangārei Hospital


Ph: 09 430 4101 ext 8425 or 8426

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