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Special Care Nursery

Our Special Care Nursery (SCN) at Ballarat Base Hospital provides care for babies who are too unwell, premature, and/or small to be managed in the postnatal ward. It is a high dependency Level 2 unit and cares for over 350 babies each year.

Our Special Care Nursery was opened in November 2011 and is located on the 5th floor with the other inpatient maternity services. It has a spacious, calm and family friendly environment with supportive staff. This may be a stressful and difficult time for you and we take a family-centred approach so you and your family are encouraged to be involved with the care and management of your baby. Babies who are admitted to SCN will come under the care of the paediatric group of doctors and specialist nursing staff who will guide and support you during this time. You will also have access if required to other specialist staff such as lactation consultants, social workers, opthalmologists, speech therapists and mental health workers.

There are no restrictions placed on parents with visiting hours, but other visitors are generally requested to adhere to the maternity unit visiting hours. We prefer to limit the number so there are only two or three visitors at a time with each baby.

Babies who are very unwell or born more than 8 weeks before their due date will be stabilized and transferred to Melbourne. If your baby needs to go to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Melbourne, he/she will be transported with the Newborn Emergency Transport Service (NETS) under the care of a neonatal doctor and intensive care nurse. In this situation, BHS will assist you in your own transfer to Melbourne.