National praise for council Baby Safe team

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PENDLE Council’s Baby Safe project team has been highly commended in this year’s MJ Achievement Awards.

The team was named runner up in the co-operative working to reduce health inequalities’ category at an award ceremony last Thursday evening.

The team lost out to Birmingham City Council who won for a heart health campaign.

The award recognises the partnership work between Pendle Council, the Lancashire NHS Foundation Trust and Help Direct to reduce infant deaths in Pendle.

Coun.Tony Beckett, who represents health in Pendle, said: “This is wonderful news for Pendle as a whole, and an excellent example of partnership working.

“But the real winners are the new parents who are benefiting from the sound advice the project offers them.”

Louise Hoole, a Council Localities Officer who was the Baby Safe project lead, said: “We’re thrilled to have been judged among large authorities who have much bigger budgets than ours.

“It was so exciting to be on the shortlist of seven; to then be given a ‘highly commended’ award was the icing on the cake!

“The number of babies who die before their first birthday in Pendle is, tragically, higher than the national average.

“Babies born to families from the most disadvantaged groups in our communities are more likely to die than babies from our relatively more affluent communities.

“The Baby Safe project brought together health and non-health professionals to focus on this issue and come up with ways in which together they could make a difference.

“As a result, many fantastic initiatives are now in place, including pregnancy pilates and aquanatal classes, special arts on prescription classes for new mums and mums-to-be and ongoing work to help those at risk of domestic violence.”