Why babies are transferred

There are three main reasons why most babies are transferred from one hospital to another:

  • They need a higher level of care
  • They need specialist assessment and/or treatment
  • They’re getting better and can move closer to home

In addition to these, sometimes babies that have not yet been discharged need to go for outpatient appointments in specialist clinics. Our team takes them to the appointment and brings them back.

Whatever the reason for transferring your baby, the team looking after them will always explain to you why they need to move, and where they are moving to. These conversations should take place before our team arrives (in most cases), so there’s plenty of time for you to ask questions.

Higher level care

The most common reason babies are moved is because they need a higher level of care than the unit they are in is able to provide.

Neonatal units are classed as level one, level two, or level three. With level three providing care for the most unwell babies.

Specialist care

On some occasions babies need to be moved because they have been born with (or developed) a heart or surgical condition that requires surgery or specialist review.

In the North West we have two specialist surgical and cardiac centres: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, and St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester.

Closer to home

When babies start to get better, and they no longer need higher levels of care (but they’re still not quite ready to go home), we want to make sure that they are as close to home as possible.

If they are not in their local unit then chances are they will be moved there when their condition is right (and there’s space for them).