The Neonatal Unit is one of two Level 3 Units in Lancashire and South Cumbria providing 24 hour inpatient services for Neonatal  Intensive Care (NICU), high dependency (HDU) and special care (SCBU) infants born at any stage during the pregnancy (gestation).

The Neonatal Unit is in the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre (LWNC) on the site of Burnley General Hospital in East Lancashire. This Unit (opened in 2011) is a purpose built, state of the art build, designed to the highest specifications in line with standards set by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM).

The Neonatal Unit at LWNC has 14 ICU/HDU cots (six intensive care cots and eight high dependency cots to be used flexibly) and 20 special care cots with a total cot capacity of 34 cots.  In addition there are two isolation cots when babies need to be cared for separately due to their specific needs.  The single East Lancashire Unit is a level 3 Unit catering for a delivery rate of over 6500 babies born each year. 

The Unit provides a comprehensive range of services, therapies and treatments including:

  • Being a ‘Cooling Centre’ in Lancashire and South Cumbria providing  treatment of Total Body Cooling to babies born in poor condition at birth.

  • iNO (inhaled nitric oxide) treatment for babies with difficulty in oxygenation despite full intensive care measures.

  • being fully equipped with a new dedicated ultrasound scanner/ Echo machine with all our neonatal  all Consultants being skilled in performing Cranial Ultrasound.

  • A consultant delivered opthalmology screening service for retinopathy of prematurity (potential visual problems related to premature birth)

  • 3 of the consultant neonatologists are skilled in echo cardiography (heart scanning).

  • Special Care with Carer (mother) -There is a dedicated 10 bedded area currently within the postnatal ward providing Transitional care.  It is anticipated this will be fully operational in a purpose built Ward close to NICU, in the near future

  • The Unit jointly with Preston is part of the Neonatal Transport and Retrieval service for Lancashire and South Cumbria (STARS team).  This provides 9am – 7pm-weekday dedicated Neonatal transport for all babies requiring this in the Lancs/South Cumbria zone.  In addition there is a nurse led service at weekends for  back transfers to East Lancahire where babies have had to be cared for elsewhere in the region.

  • All Neonatal Consultants run an antenatal advisory service for prospective parents, where abnormalities have been detected in utero, to plan postnatal management.

  • A children’s outpatient clinic service (COPD) at both Blackburn and Burnley to provide follow up for infants who have been discharged from hospital

  • The Neonatal Unit has provision for rooming in rooms for parents which means parents can stay on site and care for their babies for a period of time before taking them home. Accommodation for parents who do not live locally is also available on the hospital site.

Key staff

The Neonatal Unit has a dedicated staff group including: 6 Consultants, middle grade and junior grade doctors, Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (ANNPs), Neonatal Nurses and therapists (dietetics and physiotherepy). 

All our Neonatal Consultants have areas of specialist interest.

Dr M Lama                       Neonatal Clinical Director, CONI and HIV lead
Dr C Mo Neonatal Tutor, Infection control and Cardiology
Dr N B Soni IT developments, Audit and Cardiology 
Dr S Sivashankar  Transport , Triage, Bereavement and Cardiology
Dr A Cox Postnatal and Transitional Care lead
Dr D Kumar

Governance, Guidelines and Research