Special Care Baby Unit

Maternity Unit
Level 3
Torbay Hospital
Lowes Bridge
Torquay TQ2 7AA

Tel: 01803 654602


For babies who are small, premature or who need extra care or observation. Also for those who have difficulties when feeding. Located at the end of one of the postnatal wards. Mother and baby are nursed together, and the parents are encouraged to be involved in their baby’s care.

In the event of the baby being seriously ill, it may be necessary for you both to be transferred to a specialist unit, probably in Exeter. Once your initial problems are resolved, you will be able to return to Torbay.

Our service includes:

  • Care for premature and sick babies, and their mothers.

  • Breast feeding support, both within the unit and advising colleagues in the hospital and community.

  • Breast Pump loan service to support lactation when babies are unable to feed.

  • Working towards WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation – http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk

  • Retinopathy screening, investigations of jaundice, blood tests, feeding management.

  • Baby Massage – taught to mothers by qualified member of staff.

  • C.O.N.I. scheme – working with the community – http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/coni


The Special Care Baby Unit is situated on level 3 of the Maternity Unit adjacent to the Antenatal and Postnatal Wards. It is unique among the South West Regional Units in being able to keep mothers and babies together. There are 10 cots and 8 beds for mothers.

Torbay is not an intensive care neonatal unit, although there is always a nurse on duty who is trained in Neonatal Intensive Care. Babies who need more support than Torbay can provide, are stabilised and transferred, usually to Exeter’s Neonatal Unit, where our neonatal consultant also works.

Further information regarding Child Health.

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