On this page
Who we are
The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Neonatal Transfer Service (KSS NTS) is made up of three teams. They are based in Brighton, Medway and Chertsey. Each team is comprised of a senior doctor, senior nurse and ambulance crew. All are trained in the care of babies in transit and travel in a dedicated specially modified neonatal ambulance.
KSS NTS operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Between the three teams we transfer approximately 1200 babies per year.
Why is my baby being transferred?
Sometimes a baby needs more specialist care which your local hospital might not be able to provide.
This can be the case if your baby is born too early/small or is unwell and needs more specialist care such as surgery or cardiac care.
Babies are usually transferred in a specialised transport incubator. We are able to provide full intensive care during the journey at all times if this is necessary. Your baby will have close monitoring for their well-being during the transfer.
For the safety of your baby we will only move one baby at a time. Multiple births will be moved separately.
We also take babies back to their local hospital after no longer needing specialist care.
Can I travel with my baby?
We understand you may be worried about your baby before and during transfer. We will keep you updated during the transfer process and are usually able to ensure that you see your baby before we leave the referring hospital.
It is sometimes possible to take one parent in the ambulance with us and their baby. The parent sits in the front of the ambulance with the ambulance crew.
We are unable to take mothers who have not been discharged from midwifery care or who have had their baby less than 24 hours before transfer, as we are unable to meet their medical needs.
What happens during the journey?
During the journey your baby is monitored continuously. If there are any concerns regarding your baby’s condition the ambulance will stop to allow the team to assess your baby without the noise and vibration of a moving vehicle.
Sometimes bumpy roads can cause the alarms to trigger more frequently. Please do not be concerned by this if you are travelling with your baby.
What will happen on arrival at the unit my baby is being transferred to?
Most units will ask the parents to wait in a waiting area so the team can share information about your baby to the medical team at the receiving hospital.
Should a parent not be able to travel with their baby we will try to let them know an approximate arrival time depending on traffic conditions.
Once your baby is settled in the receiving unit we will ring a parent to update them about their baby.
We would really value your feedback as this helps us improve and develop our service for the benefit of other families and their babies.
Please scan the QR code and you will be taken to our feedback form.
A donation can make a difference to the service we provide to our patients. If you would like to make a donation for staff training, well-being or equipment, this can be done by scanning the QR code for the Early birth association (EBA) which is associated with the Trevor Mann baby unit.