Neonatal Intensive Care at Homerton

Our specialist service team provide medical ITU care and laser ROP surgery  for sick and preterm babies. Homerton NICU is one of the biggest providers of medical ITU care in the UK.  We have a strong reputation for high quality care and good outcomes

Please view this video of our experienced staff explaining the high standards of of care that we provide with the latest equipment.

Let us know your Lateral Flow Test (LFT) results here

What to do if you are COVID-19 positive

If you have a positive test for COVID-19 lateral test, please arrange a PCR test as soon as possible and self-isolate for 10 days following NHS guideline; Please do not come to the neonatal unit until a negative test has been confirmed and you have stopped showing any symptoms.
Supporting Parents and Care-givers for Babies in Neonatal Unit

COVID-19 has meant that, under some circumstances, some parents and care-givers are not able to be with your baby as much as they would like, due to COVID-19 infections, self-isolation and the challenge of supporting baby’s siblings and other family members during this challenging time.

You can call the neonatal unit on telephone number: 020 8510 7361/020 8510 5153 at any time of the day or night and we will give you updates on how your baby is, and our staff are always available to discuss how they can support you if you are not able to be with your baby on the unit.

The unit has an online messaging service called “Baby Diary” that every parents/carers can use to help create a link with your baby and other members of your family who are not able to visit.  Please ask your nurse if you would like subscribe to this so you can also share the photos with those people you would have liked to have visited your baby.

Thank you for working with us to keep you, your baby and our staff safe.

Personal and test details

Note: Questions marked by * are mandatory


NICU and SCBU Units

Our unit has 46 cots in total.  Cots are categorised in care levels.  We have 16 intensive (ITU), 8 high dpendancy (HD), 22 special care (SC). 

We work in the context of North East and North Central neonatal operational delivery network 

We also provide a community neonatal service for local babies, supporting the baby and parents following discharge from the unit. 








Admission to our cots

We work closely with the neonatal transfer service (NTS) and their emergency bed service (EBS) which finds cots in London for babies who need medical intensive care.

Sometimes when a local team know a pregnant womans' baby will need ITU care, the woman will be transferred to deliver at Homerton Hospital, so the baby can receive immediate ITU care. This is known as an "in-utero transfer" and sometimes the baby will be born already and then transferred; this is known as a "ex-utero transfer".

The Homerton NICU also accepts emergency admissions from our delivery suite and maternity services. These are local babies from Hackney and other sorrounding local areas. We do not accept referrals directly from GPs

Neonatal care at Homerton

Working in partnership with the network, our aim is always to look after a baby in a service that is closest to the baby's home.  A baby's home is defined by the parents home adress and postcode.

We work in this way to ensure we provide the right level of care, in the right place, with the right equipment and the right expertise.

  • Local babies: Parents who live in Hackney and sorrounding areas
  • Network babies: Parents who live in the ODN boundaries of North East or North Central London.
  • London babies: Parents who live in London, but outside of the North East or North Central areas.
  • Out of area babies: Parents who live outside of London. 

When a baby is cared for at the Homerton we provide a letter telling parents about transfer of babies to help us to work in the network pathways.  

Philosophy of care

Our unit has a philosophy of care that supports us to make sure that we look after each baby / babies and their family in an individualised way. Our team works in partnership with parents to ensure we support your baby, your family and deliver the higest possible standard of care.

We aim to create a safe, family-centred environment that promotes bonding between babies and their families.

Infants are cared for according to agreed protocols where constant review is encouraged. We are committed to the delivery of care through a multidisciplinary team. We aim to provide holistic care, tailored to the individual needs of our babies and parents, respecting their diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. 

Follow up is provided to babies who present with neonatal problems and who live locally. Specialist clinics are provided for babies with chronic lung diseases or prematurity needing home oxygen, and those at risk of developmental problems.

For babies returning to their local hospital follow-up is usually best co-ordinated locally and we liaise with the original referring unit to help co-ordinate this as needed. To change or cancel an appointment (for follow-up support) contact Starlight outpatients department on 0208 510 5018 or 7425.

Midwifery care

If a mother is discharged from the unit where she delivered and she is to be a resident at Homerton, she should be referred to our community midwives who will provide post-natal care for her. If mother is not resident then midwifery care will be provided by her local midwifery team. 


Visit Homerton Maternity Services here

Visiting arrangements

The neonatal team want you to be with your baby/babies as much as possible so there is a 24 hour visiting policy for parents.  Making sure we protect all the babies in the unit from infection is very important. So, we have restricted visiting for other family members. Download PDFs outlining our Spring and Summer and our Autumn visiting times.

Ward Rounds

We encourage parents to attend the units daily ward rounds, where each baby is seen by the medical team, reviewed and a plan of management and care is made for the coming day. Read more about what ward rounds involve here


There is a sitting room/kitchenette area situated adjacent to the unit for parents. The kitchenette is equipped with a microwave, fridge and kettle. 

We are in the process of refurbishing our parents rooms to make our accommodation more comfortable for parents, further information regarding this work will be displayed in the unit.

Accommodation for Parents

We have 3 parents' rooms adjacent to the unit with on-suite facilities. These rooms are allocated by the neonatal team and often used by parents whose home is not local.

As the accommodation is limited we can only offer short term use of the rooms to parents. There is no charge for these rooms.

As our room provision is limited, we do give preference to parents of babies who are very sick but please speak to the nurse in charge if you have any questions about the rooms.

Rooming In

When your baby is nearly ready for discharge we offer a bed for mothers to stay next to their baby, this is known as rooming in.  There are 6 rooming in beds.