The Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) is situated alongside the postnatal ward in the maternity unit of Cavan General Hospital.
The role of SCBU is caring for all infants delivered who are sick or who have more than routine care requirements. There were over 320 admissions to the unit in 2019.
The unit is staffed by experienced paediatric and neonatal nurses and midwives and supported by specialist paediatric registrars and paediatric consultants that are available 24 hours a day.
The SCBU accommodates:
- Three fully serviced intensive care cot spaces and three fully serviced high-dependency cot spaces, including one isolation space.
- A private and quiet room for mothers to feed and express milk for their babies and for parents to bond with their baby.
- A dedicated hostel room within the SCBU where parents can stay overnight.
- Enhanced hand washing facilities.
- A seminar room for staff education and staff meetings.
The aims of the SCBU is to provide a high standard of family centred care for unwell and premature newborn infants and their families.
This respects the families knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural background. It is incorporated into the planning, decision making and delivery of care.
The SCBU in Cavan General Hospital has developed a working partnership with the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda. This is called the RCSI Neonatal Network. The purpose of the Neonatal Network is to ensure very premature and sick infants are cared for in the best possible environment and to ensure neonatal care is provided to a very high and consistent standard throughout the region.
'In recent years the SCBU has continued to develop increased supports for babies and their families, including:
- increased support for breastfeeding including education and equipment
- a discharge planning process for very premature babies or babies requiring medical support at home, in partnership with PHNs and all other necessary parties to facilitate a less stressful transition to home
- facilitating video calls when parents are unable to visit
- creation of milestone cards and memory packs for families.
- development of a Coordinator for Neonatal Resuscitation to ensure safer delivery for all babies.
A significant contribution towards funding the development of the SCBU came from donated funds which were fundraised in the Cavan/Monaghan area.