Special Care Baby Unit

Special Care for our smallest patients

What is the Special Care Baby Unit?

SCBU is a 10-bed, level two neonatal unit which provides care for sick and/or preterm infants greater than 32 weeks gestation.

Only small or very unwell babies are transferred out of Rotorua.

This unit is based in Rotorua Hospital within the Birthing Unit.

What we do

We provide short term breathing assistance (called CPAP) support and short term ventilation pending transfer to our tertiary support unit, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton.

Our unit is dedicated to providing individualised, holistic, family/whanau centred developmental care that responds to the infant's physiological, psychological, spiritual and cultural needs.

The unit has three nurseries, one for isolation, one for intensive care and one for the infants who are stable and just require feeding and growing until they are ready for discharge home.

We have four available Mothercraft rooms where mothers can stay close to their infant and continue to seek support and guidance from the SCBU staff while their infant is in SCBU care.

We encourage family/whānau to be involved in caring for their infant, especially the mother, and support them to gain the confidence and knowledge they may need to make a safe and enjoyable transition from special care to home.


Access to the unit is via the Ground Floor, Bridgman Building.

This is a secure unit ­– on arrival please ring the doorbell and a staff member will let you in as soon as possible.