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Special Care Nursery


The Special Care Nursery (SCN) at Tamworth Hospital provides services for newborn babies in the Northern Sector of  Hunter New England Local Health District.

The SCN is an inpatient unit co-located with the maternity unit. The nursery is a six cot unit with capacity to increase in numbers to 10 cots as needed. Newborn babies are admitted to the SCN for a variety of reasons including prematurity requiring respiratory and/or feeding support, poor feeding, ongoing hypoglycaemia, jaundice requiring phototherapy, sepsis, very small and very large babies. Parents are encouraged to participate in the care of their baby.

Babies can be born and cared for at Tamworth Hospital from 34 weeks gestation, however, for pregnancies less than 34 weeks it is best practice for babies to be in a tertiary hospital, such as in Newcastle. This means that women who are at risk of having their baby at less than 34 weeks gestation will be transferred to a tertiary centre for birth. Once stable, babies are transferred back to Tamworth Hospital for ongoing care.


Visiting for parents in the nursery is not restricted. However, other visiting is restricted to siblings and grandparents only. If any prospective visitors are unwell we ask that they do not visit until they are well.


Mothers boarding with their babies are accommodated in the maternity unit main ward. Where beds may not be available accommodation may be arranged at Ronald McDonald House, which is within the grounds of Tamworth Hospital. Rotary Units are also available within the hospital grounds.

The SCN is a locked unit. Entry is gained by use of an intercom system at the nursery door.

Referral Eligibility Criteria 

Tamworth Hospital is the major referral centre for the Northern Sector of Hunter New England Local Health District.

Referral Exclusion Criteria 

Babies requiring ongoing respiratory support e.g. CPAP ventilations. Babies less than 1100 gms. These babies are cared for at a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, such as the Children's Hospital in Newcastle.

Location and contact details 
Tamworth Hospital Dean Street Tamworth. NSW 2340
Ph:  (02) 6767 7256