Newborn & Neonatal Care

About Dr Watkin – The Neonatologist

Along with her extensive experience in Paediatrics, Dr Sara Watkin is a tertiary-qualified and accredited neonatologist with comprehensive admitting rights to the Island’s hospitals.

“I have extensive experience as a Consultant Neonatologist in 2 large regional level 3 (tertiary) NICUs. I was employed at Nottingham City Hospital from December 1994 until April 2006, some 11½ years including a significant number as Chief of Service) and 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), at which point I took up post as the primary neonatal specialist for the island of Grand Cayman.

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.” – Dr Sara Watkin


30 Years Senior Experience


Tertiary Trained & Experienced


Full GMC Registration July 1987


True Consultant Neonatologist


Current Resuscitation Skills


Specialist Register Paediatrics


Former NICU Chief of Service


Newborn Emergencies


Neonatal care from 24 Weeks

Dr Watkin gained more than 23 years’ experience at consultant-level in UK paediatrics and neonatal medicine, where she gained 9 clinical excellence awards (the maximum number), having attained her specialist registration in paediatrics and undertaken tertiary level training in both paediatrics and neonatal medicine, including within World-famous Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Dr Watkin has added a further 7+ years of both newborn and general paediatric experience to that since moving to Grand Cayman.

Newborn Care

Dr Watkin is especially experienced in newborn care, including newborn resuscitation and preterm care, and a very safe pairs of hands at delivery to ensure no complications or a rapid response if there are. All of Dr Watkin’s deliveries are followed up with baby clinic appointments for their continued care and she offers urgent care to address the range of paediatric (pediatric) care and development needs your newborn baby has, especially through the first year of life.

Dr Watkin states: “It’s a busy time with lots of development so we’ll be seeing quite a lot of each other!”

The above is not a comprehensive list but it does contain the majority of the more common aspects of care that Dr Watkin provides for the newborn period. Dr Watkin’s experience from UCLH & Nottingham as a consultant and her training, including from GOSH means she covers the full spectrum of more complex problems too but these are obviously more rare in a population of our size here in Cayman.

Neonatal Intensive Care

In Grand Cayman, it is rare for parents to actually ‘book’ Dr Watkin for neonatal care because nobody plans for it and then when it happens it is generally either provided in urgent circumstances or she is brought in by your obstetrician for known complications or concerns. However, Dr Watkin attends a particularly large proportion of the deliveries because her neonatal credentials mean she is the only tertiary neonatal specialist with a heritage in extremely preterm care with full admitting rights to George Town Hospital for private patients, so parents book her for deliveries ‘just in case’ with Dr Watkin then also being on hand regardless. Her experience in neonatal medicine is extensive:

  • Neonatal resusciation & life support
  • Preterm birth from 24 weeks gestation
    (ELBW – extremely low birth weight, VLBW – very and upwards from there)
  • Growth restriction and small for dates babies
  • Respiratory distress, including surfactant administration & all forms of ventilation
  • Cardiac and circulatory issues
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Newborn infections & immune problems

Dr Watkin is always keen to discuss with parents both the sorts of problems that can occur in delivery and what happens if a baby is born preterm. We do have an excellent neonatal unit with first class staff here in Cayman, and so with the right care, our infants do very well for a small island.

Newborn Emergencies & Neonatal Care in Cayman Islands

Fortunately the majority of deliveries in the Cayman Islands go without complication. However, birth itself is far from 100% predictable and there are babies, a distinct proportion and more for certain types of delivery modes, that need urgent care, resuscitation or admission to the neonatal unit. Dr Watkin has full admitting rights to NICU and tend to provide the more complex care for the Government too in support of my colleagues at HSA.

Birth Asphxia

Birth asphyxia is a highly serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a newborn baby doesn’t receive an adequate supply of oxygen before, during, or immediately after birth. This lack of oxygen can lead to severe and irreversible damage to the baby’s vital organs, particularly the brain, and can result in long-term developmental issues or even death if not promptly addressed. Birth asphyxia demands immediate medical intervention to ensure the newborn’s survival and minimize the risk of long-term complications, making it a critical concern in neonatal care.

Dr Watkin has significant experience of managing birth asphyxia, including head & body cooling as an intervention (UCLH was famous for this)
(See my former colleague Professor Nicole Robertson discussing UCLH work on cooling:

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Services Provided

Attending Deliveries

Care of Preterm or Sick Newborn Infants

Baby Checks

1st Year of Life Care

Immunisations (both advising and administering)

child coughing

Treating Persistent Cough & ARI

Treating Flat Head (Plagiocephaly)

Asthma Management

Choosing a Newborn Paediatrician

Many parents first choose a paediatrician when they are about to have their first child and then maintain that relationship throughout their child’s childhood. Dr Watkin always suggests meeting paediatricians to see who best meets your needs. You can meet Dr Watkin for free antenatally, where you can discuss birth, immediate newborn care and address any questions you may have.


Dr Watkin prides herself in her availability and accessibility. She regularly take calls in the evening, weekends and at night. Dr Watkin lives 5-10 minutes from George Town and can be at the hospital generally within 5-7 minutes from the point of an urgent phone call or for a delivery.

“My parents know that they can call me when they need me and they’ll never be made to feel that they shouldn’t have called.”

– Dr Watkin