Dr Sara Watkin
(Neonatal Paediatrician Cayman)
MB ChB, MRCP (paeds), FRCPCH, MD
SPECIALIST NEONATAL PAEDIATRICIAN (NEONATOLOGIST)
My Neonatal Paediatrician information page is to help you understand me, Dr Sara Watkin, Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician (Neonatologist) and the neonatal services I provide in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
My experience as a tertiary consultant Neonatal Paediatrician or Neonatologist, includes over 25+ years experience as a consultant in the United Kingdom, including as Chief of Service at the world-renowned University College London Hospitals, responsible for the very smallest and sickest of newborn infants.
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My Practice Information
Cayman Neonatal Paediatrician (Newborn Specialist) located in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Tel: (345) 745-7450
Fax: (345) 745-7460
Practice Location: Grand Pavilion (Hibiscus Way Entrance), 802 West Bay Road
Mailing Address: Box 934, 10 Market Street, Camana Bay, George Town, Grand Cayman, KY1-9006
Clinic Fees Information: https://childrensdoctor.ky/clinic-fees-information/
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Saturday: 9am to 1pm
Being a neonatologist brings with it the responsibility to be available for hospital visits, sometimes at very short notice. There is no need to worry. Firstly, we have a small number of deliveries (as an Island, just 10% of my last hospital!) and many are planned. Secondly, I am privileged to work alongside two excellent paediatric team members and we work closely together.
Finding My Clinic
We are very easy to find!
Hospital Admitting Rights
I have admitting rights to both Grand Cayman hospitals that deliver babies:
Cayman Islands Hospital (known as George Town Hospital) or HSA (where the NICU is located)
CTMH Doctors Hospital (no NICU, all higher risk deliveries or complications transferred to George Town)
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About Me – Cayman Neonatal Paediatrician (Neonatologist)
When I moved to the Cayman Islands in mid-2016, it was specifically to be the main neonatologist for Grand Cayman and to provide the highest possible levels of neonatal care. My privileges include full admitting rights to the neonatal unit and paediatric wards at George Town Hospital (HSA). I also have admitting rights at Doctors Hospital but this does not have a NICU. That, of course, is a consideration when choosing your delivery paediatrician!
I am frequently engaged to be the paediatrician at birth for babies born at Doctors Hospital because it is more complicated if there is a complication. I work with 2 paediatric colleagues, Dr Sarah Newton and Dr Jasmina Marinova, and you can feel confident with any of us because we work very closely as a team and even if I am not your paediatrician, I would be called very early (I live 5 minutes from the hospital) or consulted by my colleagues.
GMC REGISTRATION: Full registration July 1987. No: 3120873
SPECIALIST REGISTER: 1996 General Paediatrics
DEFENCE UNION: Medical Protection Society. No: 209948
You can find out much more about my clinical background here: Dr Sara Watkin, Paediatrician, Grand Cayman – detailed
Dr Sara Watkin Neonatal Career Highlights
(From prior to being a Cayman Neonatal Paediatrician)
- Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health
- 25+ years at UK Consultant level & full accreditation as both a neonatologist and a paediatrician
- Chief of Service at University College London Hospitals NICU
- Chief of Service at Nottingham City Hospital NICU (also a tertiary or regional referral centre)
- UK Advisor on Neonatal Intensive Care National Clinical Reference Group
- Neonatal Network Lead Clinician for East Midlands
- Special Interest in Newborn Quality & Safety
- Newborn Life Support Instructor
What is a Neonatologist (Neonatal Paediatrician)?
Neonatology is a sub-specialty of paediatrics. In the past, neonatal care was provided by paediatricians but because of the technical complexity it developed into a specialist area of its own and in most modern, western countries, care of earlier, sicker, more complex preterm infants is now conducted by a neonatologist. That is what I am. It means I am specially trained and accredited by the RCPCH in newborn problems and neonatal intensive care.
Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health Definition
A neonatologist provides comprehensive care to the critically-ill infant in the neonatal intensive care unit whilst ensuring the care of well term infants on the postnatal ward. The spectrum of clinical conditions and the care required is vast, from the term baby with feeding issues on the postnatal ward to the sick, fragile, extremely preterm baby with multiple problems.
My experience is from major tertiary and quaternary centres in the UK and so I am qualified and experienced in the care of ELBW or Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants. These are the very smallest and most challenging infants and I care for them from 23 weeks gestation onwards (the very lowest limit of viability).
Levels of Neonatal Care
Although we often talk about ‘tertiary’ care, in reality my experience is above that. I was Chief of Service for many years at one of the UK’s absolute top NICUs in University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, taking babies from all over London and further afield as a regional referral centre. We provided what is known as ‘Level IV’ neonatal care (or more commonly referred to as ‘Quaternary’). We were renowned for achieving some of the best outcomes for preterm and complex term infants in the whole of the UK.
Learn more about Levels of Neonatal Care
More about UCLH where I was Chief of Service for the Neonatal Service at University College London Hospitals
Newborn & Neonatal Paediatrician Services & Conditions
The following is far from comprehensive because the field of neonatal medicine covers such a wide variety of complex conditions.
- Attending regular & vaginal deliveries
- Attending caesarean section deliveries
- Newborn baby checks & examination
- Newborn complications of all types
- Jaundice management
- Early care of newborn babies
- Comprehensive 1st year care
- Breastfeeding support & advice
- Feeding, nutrition & growth
- Immunization & vaccination
- Congenital abnormalities
- Wheezing & Breathing Difficulties
I am very experienced in the care of newborn babies having spent 25+ years in the UK as a consultant in major hospitals with 5 or 6,000+ deliveries annually. It makes me a very calm and safe pairs of hands at delivery to ensure no complications or a rapid response if there are.
- Neonatal resuscitation & life support
- Preterm or Neonatal intensive care, from 23+ weeks
- Complex problems and fetal abnormalities
- Small for dates babies & growth restriction
- Birth asphyxia & birthing complications
- Head & body cooling (UCLH was a world-renowned)
- Respiratory distress & breathing issues
- Surfactant administration for RDS
- All forms of ventilation, including advanced techniques
- Cardiac and circulatory problems & diagnosis
- Congenital and genetic abnormalities
- Newborn infections & immunological problems
The majority of deliveries in Cayman go without complications, but birth itself is not always predictable. There is a distinct proportion of babies that need urgent resuscitation, support or admission to NICU. In Grand Cayman, even if I am not already your paediatrician, I may well be called by the midwives or by your obstetrician if there are serious complications. Obviously if I am your paediatrician for birth, you have the reassurance I will be there anyway.
How Common are Birth or Newborn Problems?
Should you have a neonatal paeditician from the start?
One in ten babies will need resuscitation or help with breathing at birth. In Cayman there are no Paediatricians in either hospital 24 hours of the day so it is important that if you are having a private OBGYN that you have chosen a private Paediatrician in advance to attend your delivery. Whereas 90% of deliveries go fine, the challenge everyone faces is that you can’t predict which 10% are not going to and that’s when it pays to have the safe pair of hands. All three of our Paediatricans can deliver advanced resuscitation where needed, keep up to date in their life support skills, have full admitting rights to the Neonatal Unit. We also work as a team to ensure the best care and outcomes for your baby. Ultimately, it comes down to the degree of comfort you have personally. There’s no additional cost to having myself, despite my advanced credentials and experience.
Arrange an Antenatal Appointment to Meet Dr Sara Watkin
Appointment Booking with Dr Sara Watkin, Cayman Paediatrician
Please simply work through the steps on screen. If you have seen one of our paediatricians previously, it is likely we have your child’s details in the system. Please use the following information when prompted to do so:
- Your own email (if yours isn’t found, try your spouse’s)
- Your child’s name
- Child’s Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
- Child’s Gender
Booking on Mobile
If you are using a smartphone, it helps to turn your screen sideways (landscape).
Urgent Care/ Sick Children Appointments
If you cannot see an appointment slot available, please call us on (345) 745 7450 within office hours or on the Paediatric Out-of-Hours Service (345) 326 4370 (Note: Calls only, Out-of-Hours Only) as we carry specific sick child capacity to help ensure your child can be seen when necessary.
Online booking with instant confirmation
Please simply work through the steps on screen. On mobile, try turning your phone sideways.
Education, Training & Experience
Newborn (Neonatal) Experience
I have extensive experience as a Consultant Neonatologist in 2 large regional level 3 (tertiary) NICUs. Firstly, I was employed at Nottingham City Hospital from December 1994 until April 2006, some 11½ years including a significant number as Chief of Service). Then, I was then employed at University College London Hospital as a locum from 2009-10 and as a permanent consultant from December 2010 until July 2016 (with 5 years as Chief of Service here too). After that, I took up post as the primary neonatal specialist for the island of Grand Cayman.
Nottingham City Hospital
Nottingham City Hospital had 6,000 births and delivered over 3,000 neonatal intensive care and high dependency care days per year. Out of hours, I was on call for both hospitals in Nottingham (10,000 births and 6,000 IC and HD days) and managed both complex neonatal medical and surgical cases.
University College Hospital
University College London Hospital is one of the UK leading specialist centres. It has 6,400 deliveries per year with over 1,000 admissions to the Neonatal Unit of extremely sick complex babies requiring in total nearly 6,000 neonatal intensive care and high dependency care days. UCLH has the highest inborn admission rate in the UK for babies born at less than 29 weeks gestation. UCLH has a renowned fetal medicine unit and is the delivery unit for babies who will need future care at Great Ormond Street Hospital. This means we took and cared for sick newborns from across the UK with complex problems especially cardiac problems, neurosurgical problems and general surgical problems including diaphragmatic hernias. UCLH is also a designated centre for brain cooling for birth-related newborn brain injury & has a significant number of referral of infants with complex neurological problems.
Neonatal Care in Cayman
That probably all sounds rather over-scientific. Yes, it does mean that I have lots of experience in newborn care, including the most complex forms too. The majority of births here don’t need that depth but when they do demand it, it’s obviously reassuring to have. With over 5 years of practice here in Grand Cayman, I have cared for multiple ELBW (extremely low birth weight) babies, including care here and transfers to the US. However, most weeks I am involved in the care of an infant with complications, either preterm or term. Our biggest challenge is we so frequently don’t know what might happen and that’s when skills count and team matters.
I have a broad education in both general and tertiary paediatrics including training at Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as Nottingham City Hospital. I covered general paediatrics as registrar in Derby, Nottingham City Hospital and Stoke and as senior registrar in Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. In Stoke I did a general paediatric clinic each week and at QMC I had 2 general paediatric clinics each week, as well as a neonatal follow-up clinic.
In my infant feeding and growth clinic at UCLH, I was referred many patients from the local GPs for advice including children with cow’s milk protein intolerance and food aversion. Following children up for many years until 2 years of age means that I have extensive experience in dealing with problems in this age group, as well as developmental assessment. However, my experience in paediatric care extends right through to adulthood.
Paediatrics on an Island
Good paediatrics in somewhere like Cayman is about being up-to-date and about the right approach when you find yourself sometimes with limited support or back, a challenge facing all smaller islands.
From 2006 onwards, before I moved to Grand Cayman, I undertook frequent paediatric assignments from single weekends to much longer in duration. These were at both Consultant and Registrar level, in a range of paediatric settings but predominantly in 3 hospitals:
- Chesterfield Royal Hospital
- Horton Hospital
- Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital in Wales
So, I am unusual in having extensive tertiary experience of the sickest children but at the same time lots of experience of smaller hospitals and clinics with limited resources and facilities. These latter experiences are just like practising in Cayman (only colder!)
Paediatrician Cayman Style
In my general paediatric role in Grand Cayman, I see up to 20 children a day in the outpatient setting. These children range from newborn to 16 years and have the full spectrum of childhood complaints from very minor to complex health and developmental problems, including respiratory disease, failure to thrive, short stature, diabetes, duchennes muscular dystrophy, complex cardiac disease and immune deficiency.
I have admitting rights at both of our local hospitals and in George Town Hospital (HSA), that includes both the paediatric wards and the neonatal intensive care unit.
Latest News & Views from Dr Watkin
I have been asked many times to share the talk I made at the Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference, covering Covid in Children and how we can optimise and protect child health when we open up... based on evidence! Optimising & Protecting Child Health in the Post...
As a neonatologist, I can say that it is wonderful to see the news that the smallest baby at birth is finally going home after 13 months of neonatal intensive care in Singapore. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58141756...
Information is emerging that social restrictions and lock down arrangements may be causing myopia in children. The risk for this has been hypothesised and highlighted by numerous professionals, based on two key changes in behaviour in children - a reduction in time...
Guide to Identifying the Best Paediatricians in the Cayman Islands We are going to cover a number of concepts in this guide and not all of them have easy or definitive answers. What’s more, if you are going to look for the best paediatricians in the Cayman Islands,...
Meet our Cayman Paediatricians & Paediatric Dermatologist
We are passionate about improving the quality of care available to those residing in Grand Cayman and that extends to an unwavering commitment to employ individuals with true expertise and a variety of unique special interests.