New home for our tiniest South Australians

South Australia’s most vulnerable babies and their families will receive improved care and support at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital following the opening of the redeveloped Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the upgrades to the NICU are part of the hospital’s continuing commitment to maintain first-class care for its patients.

“This upgrade is the second and final stage of the $14 million Neonatal Nurseries Redevelopment which not only improves care for our premature and ill babies, but also lifts support for their families during this difficult experience,” Minister Wade said.

“Clinicians, staff and consumers were heavily involved in the concept and design process of the new unit to ensure the design benefits for both patients and staff.

“The six new rooms will provide improved infection control, and more space and privacy for families, with the capacity for one room to operate as a dual space for twins.”

The new space also includes a cot space which operates as an additional negative pressure room, a multi-purpose room with a bed and ensuite for families and carers with babies in palliative care, and a new staff base.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) CEO, Lindsey Gough, said the works are part of a $50 million project to upgrade the hospital.

“We are committed to maintaining excellent care and workspaces for our patients and staff and this redevelopment is just another part of that process,” Ms Gough said.

“Our hospital continues to invest in infrastructure to better support the health and wellbeing of all South Australians and, thanks to these sustainment works, we will be able to continue to provide the highest quality care while we plan for the new hospital.”

WHCN Acting Advanced Divisional Director of Women’s and Babies, Lee Davies, said the new NICU houses improved technology which allows for swift care.

“Our NICU staff provide care to some of the state’s most at-risk patients and this redevelopment will help our staff deliver efficient and immediate care,” Ms Davies said.

“Each room is also fitted with a mobile patient monitoring system which can move around the room according to the baby’s needs.”

Patients and families will start to move into the new NICU space from next week.

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