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Lakes DHB Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)

Public Service, Intensive Care, Maternity, Paediatrics


The SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) at Lakes DHB is an 8-bed, level two neonatal unit which provides care for sick and/or preterm infants greater than 32 weeks gestation.

Our unit is dedicated to providing individualised, holistic, family/whānau 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 also provide short term breathing assistance (called CPAP) support and short-term ventilation pending transfer to our tertiary support unit at Waikato Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Hamilton.

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. 

Where to find us: see the Rotorua Hospital map here.


Referral Expectations

Babies that are born early; are very small or have other acute problems at birth will be referred to the Paediatric Department who may admit your child to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) if indicated (or may be involved in their care on the Perinatal Unit).


New Zealand citizens or those who have obtained permanent residence are entitled to publicly funded health care.

Non-residents may be required to pay for their health care.

Click here to read more about eligibility for funded care at Lakes DHB.

Procedures/Treatments/Common Conditions

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

    Continuous positive airway pressure, commonly called CPAP, is a special type of breathing circuit that is used to help your baby's breathing.… More

  • Hypoglycaemia

    Hypoglycaemia is when the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too low.… More

Visiting Hours

Parents can visit their baby at any time of the day or night.

Hospital visiting hours for other visitors is between 10am and 8pm. Please note that we prefer all visitors to be accompanied by the baby's parent.

In order to minimise the risk to neonates from infections/viruses, visitors with cold or flu symptoms, diarrhoea, cough, runny nose or rash will not be able to visit babies in SCBU. 

Siblings of the baby are welcome. Other children under 14 years of age may not visit in the nursery. 

Please be mindful that that this is an intensive care unit with some very sick babies and, at times, visiting may be restricted.

Travel Directions

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.

Please note, we are a small and busy team so there may be a delay but we will get to you as soon as we can.


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Contact Details

Corner Arawa Street and Pukeroa Road
New Zealand

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Street Address

Corner Arawa Street and Pukeroa Road
New Zealand

Postal Address

Rotorua Hospital
Private Bag 3023
Rotorua Mail Centre
Rotorua 3046

This page was last updated at 2:33PM on December 20, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Lakes DHB Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).