staff on the neonatal unit at St George's

Medical Staff

There are three grades of doctors working on the Neonatal Unit

Consultants- A total of nine neonatal consultants work on the unit. They are the most senior doctors and at any one time two of these will have overall responsibility for the medical care of the babies. They will discuss the medical plan for each baby with the more junior medical staff on a daily basis. Day to day updates on each baby will be communicated to parents by both nurses and more junior doctors but complex issues or fuller updates will be discussed with consultants as required.

Middle grade doctors (previously called registrars)- These doctors have had at least seven years experience in medicine, five of which will have been in general paediatrics or neonates. There are a total of nine middle grade doctors employed by the unit, but as they work shifts only two or three will be present on the unit during the day. There is always one present on the unit at night. These doctors are responsible for the day to day running of the unit and also supervise the more junior doctors. A consultant will always be available for advice when required. They are usually attached to the unit for a six to twelve month period.

Junior doctors (previously SHOs)- Although referred to as “junior”, these doctors will have had a minimum of three years of medical experience, of which at least one year will be in paediatrics and neonates. There are nine of these doctors employed by the unit, but as they work shifts not all are present at any one time. There will be at least three present during the day and one present at night. These are the doctors that parents will probably see the most and who will do the majority of the practical procedures for the babies.

Nursing Staff

There are several grades of nursing staff on the Neonatal Unit.

Head of Nursing (HoN) – This is the most senior member of the nursing team. The HoN has overall responsibility for the nursing, clerical, administrative and professional as well as non-professional support staff, standards of nursing care, pay and non-pay budgets, service development and patient experience.

Matrons – the matrons manage the operational issues of the unit on a day to day basis. They are responsible for safe staffing, the provision of high standards of care, recruitment, cleanliness of the unit, dealing with concerns and obtaining parent/carers feedback.

Neonatal Nurse Specialists- These are highly qualified and experienced in specific areas of Neonatal care such as breastfeeding and neonatal surgery. This experience and knowledge will be used to offer advice, support and education to others within the nursing team and to families on the unit.

Community Neonatal Sisters – This team provide follow-up care and support at home for all babies and their families who were booked in at St George’s. They also ensure the babies are growing and feeding well, and will try to identify any problems early on and refer to the medical team.

Practice Educator and Teaching Sister– These are responsible for the education, training and orientation of the nursing staff. They will arrange study days for staff, that take place both within St George’s and elsewhere in the country.

Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner – These are very senior nurses who have gained extra, specialist qualifications in order to take responsibility in the medical management of babies. They undertake advanced clinical procedures and make critical decisions.They work to the same level as Junior Doctors, including the prescribing of all neonatal drugs.

Sisters and Charge Nurses – These are senior, experienced nurses who take responsibility for co-ordinating the overall care of the babies throughout the shift as well as the admissions and transfer of babies between hopsitals. There is usually a sister/charge nurse on every shift and they act as line manager for more junior staff. The sisters/charge nurses are the first point of call for parents to raise any issues or concerns. 

Senior Staff Nurses - These nurses are trained and qualified to look after the sickest babies as well as support junior nurses and students. Their role also includes deputising for the sister/charge nurse.

Staff Nurses – They are qualified nurses who take responsibilty for the care of babies who are not critically ill. 

Nursery Nurses – These staff assist the registered nurses in the care of the 'Special Care' babies. They are also responsible for parentcraft and the milk bank.

Other staff on the Neonatal Unit that you may meet

Medical Physics Team- The main role of the Medical Physics department is to make sure that there is a medical devices infrastructure set up in the hospital to enable the delivery of clinical services by the safe and effective use of medical devices. This covers the purchase, safety testing, repair, preventive maintenance and training. The department also works closely with the procurement department to provide technical support to the procurement process. The team comprises mainly of Clinical Technologists, Clinical Scientists, Engineers and Bioengineers.

Counsellor- The counsellor will aim to provide you with a quiet space where you can explore and consider the issues that may be troubling you in relation to having a baby on the Neonatal Unit. She will not judge you or try to give you advice, and will treat anything you have to say in the strictest confidence. The counsellor will introduce herself to you on the unit and you can choose whether you would wish to meet with her again.

Receptionists- Our experienced receptionists are responsible for for welcoming parents and visitors to the unit, answering queries and directing visitors to the appropriate members of staff, keeping the patient adminsitration system up to date and making outpatients appointments. They will often be the first point of contact for people calling or visiting the unit.

Senior Neonatal Assistant- main duties are to report faults booking of temporary staff, transport booking and generally overseeing any housekeeping issues.

Secretaries- The secretaries provide adminstrative and clerical work for all staff on the unit.

Other hospital staff

There are many other hospital staff members that you may meet during your stay on the Neonatal Unit. You may be referred to other teams within the hospital for specialist help. Here is a list of some of the other people you may come across.

Chaplain

Pharmacist

Physiotherapist

Dietician

Speech Therapist

Obstetrician

Midwife

Fetal Cardiologist

Geneticist

Radiographer

Endocardiographer

Porter

Laboratory Staff

Paediatric Outpatient staff

Look after your baby

The staff will always put the needs of the baby first