The Neonatal Unit (NNU) at Leighton Hospital provides Intensive, High Dependency and Special Care for babies across South Cheshire and the surrounding district.  Primarily the NNU cares for premature babies but also accepts full term babies with medical conditions.  The NNU has 3 Intensive Care, 4 High Dependency and 8 Special Care cots.

Parents have 24 hour access to their baby and can see their baby at any time of day or night.

Mission Statement

Our aim is to provide excellent and individualised care that consistently places the baby and their family at the heart of all we do.

Philosophy of Care

Neonatal care is based on creating caring relationships in a secure, welcoming environment.  We pride ourselves on having high levels of sensitivity, empathy and respect for individuals, their wishes and cultures.  With this as our foundation, we promise:

  • To provide the optimum care and treatment for all babies based on the most up to date research and resources in partnership with families, the multidisciplinary team and the wider Northwest Neonatal Network.
  • To encourage and support the developing relationship between families and baby, providing information and guidance in order for families to be fully integrated into the NNU care team.
  • To deliver holistic care through the utilisation of an expert multidisciplinary team, that considers the baby and family as a whole.
  • To update and expand our knowledge in all areas relating to the medical, nursing and therapeutic care of neonates, promoting evidence based practice and lifelong learning, in order to always provide the best care for babies and their families.
  • To create an atmosphere of friendliness and reassurance, honesty and support; recognising that this is an unexpected journey for the baby and their family.

To foster and promote a family and baby-centred developmentally supporting and nurturing environment, that offers sensitive neuroprotective care; minimising stress and pain and protecting sleep.  We recognise that this environment in partnership with the parent-baby relationship, is key to future development and wellbeing, and helps provide the best possible outcomes for the baby and their family.


Parents can have access to the NNU at any time to visit their baby/babies.

Due to COVID restrictions, please check with the NNU staff for up to date visiting guidance


The NNU at Leighton is part of the Northwest Neonatal Operational Delivery Network.  This website has lots of information for parents.  For example information about all the Neonatal Units in the Northwest to links for parent support.

  • NeoMates – Access via Facebook for peer support if you have a baby on the Neonatal Unit.
  • Bliss ( - Bliss offers emotional and practical support to empower families of babies born premature or sick and equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to provide the best possible care to their baby.
  • Catch App (Common Approach to Children’s Health) – is a free NHS health app for parents of children from pregnancy to age 5 with information about common conditions.
  • Lactation Consultant is available for help and advice with breast feeding.
  • Frenulotomy service available via referral from a health care professional

The NNU has a partnership arrangement with Hope House to support babies and families with long term conditions. The Ray of Hope is a charity that raises funds for our maternity and neonatal unit by knitting, sewing and card making. The funds raised go towards improving and purchasing items for both areas E.g. heated cots and breast pumps. Contact Chris Cooper on 01270 582187 at

How to access the service

Babies who require additional care at birth or shortly following birth will be assessed by a Paediatrician and transferred to the NNU.


How to find us

You can find us by entering the hospital’s Maternity entrance, following the pink corridor and following signs for Ward 22.