As part of the Department of Neonatal Medicine at The Royal
Children's Hospital (RCH), the Butterfly ward provides the best neonatal
care for the sickest babies and infants from Victoria,
interstate and overseas.
With up to 851 admissions each year, the Butterfly Ward cares for patients from other hospitals in
Melbourne and country Victoria, southern New South Wales and
Tasmania and from the RCH Emergency Department.
Babies admitted to the Butterfly Ward have a wide range of
complex medical and surgical problems. Some require the support of
a ventilator for their breathing and many require specialised
The management of our babies is overseen by a team of
Neonatologists, Neonatal Nurses and Allied Health specialists.
Particularly complex or long term patients are appointed a Nurse Coordinator to co-ordinate their care.
The care of Butterfly Ward patients involves extensive
co-operation with many other teams and departments within the RCH.
- Surgical teams from areas including: General Surgery, Thoracic
Surgery, Urology, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery,
Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery and Cardiac
- Sub-specialist medical teams including: Neurology,
Gastroenterology, Clinical Nutrition, Thoracic Medicine,
Cardiology, Nephrology, Ophthalmology, Endocrinology, Genetic
Medicine and Metabolic Medicine
- Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, Music Therapy, Educational
Play Therapy, Audiology and Occupational Therapy
Parents may spend time with their baby on the Butterfly Ward 24 hours
a day, seven days a week. Visitor guidelines on Butterfly Ward are still currently impacted by COVID restrictions. Whilst we are in the process of easing some restrictions, please refer to the bedside nurse, ANUM (nurse in charge of shift), Nurse Unit Manager, or the Ward Clerks for the current guidelines. New visitor guidelines will be published on out website in the coming months.
Any visitors who are unwell with an infection, cold or flu or
who have come into contact with an infectious disease should check
with the bedside nurse or ANUM by phone, before coming to
the Butterfly Ward.
hours for general hospital visiting times.
Once discharged from the Butterfly Ward, babies are followed up
by either their General Practitioner, Paediatrician or
Neonatologist. RCH Neonatologists see their patients in the RCH
Specialist Clinics (Outpatients) and appointments are arranged
prior to discharge.