baby in incubator

Your baby will be looked after in the neonatal unit if he or she needs medical care or is born prematurely.

What is important to your baby?

You are important to your baby. Staff in the unit are keen to support closeness and contact between you and your baby – we have a number of ways to help, including involvement in care as soon as possible, skin to skin contact.

The ward round takes place daily 0900-1000hrs – this is a really good opportunity to discuss babies care and progress so you should attend for this if possible. Your baby is at the heart of the family so the neonatal team will include you when talking about baby and support you when decisions need to be made.

As a local neonatal unit, we provide medical and nursing care for babies greater than 27 weeks gestation or twins/multiples greater than 28 weeks gestation. We have 21 cots, providing intensive, high dependency and special care. Transitional care is also provided within the hospital (this is where babies who need some extra care, but are well enough, can stay together with mum whilst the team care for them both).

It is expected that your baby will need more specialised care if:

  • you will deliver before 27 weeks gestation (or 28 weeks for multiples )
  • your baby needs surgery

In those cases, you may be transferred to another hospital ahead of the birth.

We do have access to 24 hour transfer services, but sometimes there is not be enough time to transfer a mother before her baby is born, and sometimes the need for intensive care can’t be anticipated. In those circumstances, we are able to provide all of the immediate care your baby will need before transfer you to another unit. Wherever possible we ensure that you can travel with your baby, in the ambulance and if this isn’t possible, staff will support you to get to the new hospital.

All transfers are managed by a specialist team dedicated to the transport of newborns. They are well equipped and have a specialised ambulance – you should get the chance to meet the transfer team, and wherever possible will travel with baby, in the ambulance. If for any reason, you cannot travel with your baby, staff will support you to get to the new hospital.

To find out more about neonatal care, visit the Bliss website.

Neonatal unit facilities


The neonatal unit at the Victoria is housed in the new wing and can easily be accessed from the Maternity entrance. The maternity entrance is separate to, and just along from the main entrance. On entering the building, ahead and to the left is a lift which will take you to the first floor – the Neonatal Unit is on the left as you come out of the lift. For the safety of babies, we have a secure entry system in place and you must press the buzzer at the main entrance to get in. Parents and siblings can access the unit at any time. Visiting for others is 2-8pm daily.

On right hand side of reception area are a number of lockers for parents use. We have a designated parents lounge with fridge and microwave facilities to store and heat food. The parents lounge also has toilet and shower facilities.

Rooming in

We have two parent’s rooms and this gives parents a chance to ‘room in’ with baby just before going home. Fold down beds can be provided if the need arises. Meals can be provided for you at this time – just ask members of staff.
We can provide breast pumps for use whilst on the unit and will make sure you have access to one when you are at home. Whilst breast milk from a baby’s own mother is always the best nutrition it is not always available for one reason or another and in those cases we do have access to donor breast milk here in the unit. 

Whilst all our staff on the unit can support you with feeding issues or concerns, we do have an infant feed advisor, Abby Smyth,  who provides training for staff alongside giving support to parents.    

Translation and interpreting service NHS Fife provides a translation and interpreting service

Spiritual care
Our spiritual care service provides person centred care to all whilst acknowledging diversity.

Young person’s family fund

Having a baby in the neonatal unit can bring extra expense and you can get help with travel costs and meals with the Young person’s family fund.

You can pick up a claim form from the staff in the unit

You may need to submit receipts for petrol or travel costs with your form.

You need to get the form signed by staff in the unit before taking it to the cash office in the hospital.

Claims can be submitted incrementally during an on‑going hospital stay (e.g. weekly) or in full for the entire stay, up to three months, following discharge.

If you need further information and support about finances:

Benefits and grants -  provides information about benefits (link to website)

Your situation - Turn2us  helps people in financial hardship gain access to benefits, grants and support (link to website)

Community liaison service

Beth Black

Sarah Lowe

The neonatal community nursing service supports families in preparing for discharge to the community and once your baby is home. They will see babies in Fife that have been born early, small and required a stay in the Neonatal unit or transitional care.

If your baby has any ongoing health needs such as home oxygen or heated mattress care then the service will provide ongoing care and support at home. All babies, born at less than 34 weeks, or with additional health needs will be followed up at a Consultant led Clinic. It is important that you attend.

Safer sleep information

Babies in our neonatal unit are under constant supervision. How your baby sleeps in hospital can be different to how your baby will sleep at home. In the neonatal unit, babies may sleep on their fronts, wear hats or have boundaries and nests in their incubator. Before going home we will get your baby used to lying on their back to sleep, without any boundaries, or anything other than sheets/blankets in the cot. Your nurse will make sure you know about safer sleep practices before your baby comes home. For more information, check out the Lullaby Trust safer sleep advice for premature babies.

If you have any concerns about your baby contact your GP, Health Visitor or telephone NHS 24 (111). In an emergency, dial 999.


Having a baby is a huge life event and having a baby in the Neonatal Unit can be overwhelming for a lot of parents. It can be helpful to speak with someone about your experiences. During your stay you will meet a member of our Maternity and Neonatal Psychology team, who can provide an opportunity for you to talk, and work through any worries and feelings you have. You can chat with them when you see them on the unit, or if you prefer, you can make an appointment by calling the general contact phone number on 01592 729192

Charge Nurse: Amy Moran