A Neonatal consultant’s view

Dr Sijo Francis 

As a Consultant Neonatologist who joined St George’s since 2012, Sijo has experienced first-hand how the outstanding Neonatal nursing team is central to the ‘holistic team’ caring for babies and their parents.

“I see, and benefit from, nurses’ work in so many ways,” he said.

“Our nurses provide outstanding care to the child, and have a huge amount of technical, medical knowledge. This is essential, given the sheer variety of cases coming into the unit – so training and development is very high on the agenda.

“At the same time, they have to deal with a variety of parents and to be able to communicate effectively and clearly with them. The relationships nurses build with babies and parents is so important to consultants too. It helps us ensure we communicate as well as possible with parents and understand their particular concerns and needs.

“We operate very much as a holistic team in the Neonatal Unit, with doctors, nurses and support staff all playing a vital role in the patient pathway. Our nurses combine their many tasks – in what is obviously a fulfilling but demanding setting – with the supportive, friendly culture that enables the Unit to perform to the high standards we set ourselves.

“The Neonatal Unit at St George’s was my first role as a junior consultant, and I was fortunate from the very start to have the support and advice of this nursing team. I was very certain I wanted to work here because of the pace, variety and challenges – and I think this goes for the entire department. There are great opportunities to learn, develop your knowledge and yourself, and I consider myself very lucky to work with such exceptional nurses.”