East Lancashire has become the first acute NHS Trust in the country to receive the prestigious Baby Friendly Initiative ‘Gold’ standard from the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) UK for the second year in a row.
Following an evaluation by independent Unicef UK assessors last June, the Baby Friendly Team which supports families with new babies received the news that the area’s ‘Gold Standard’ has been revalidated for a further three years.
Mrs Rineke Schram, ELHT Baby Friendly Guardian and consultant obstetrician, said: “We are delighted to be the first trust in the country to renew the prestigious Unicef UK ‘Baby Friendly’ award which is excellent news for the women, children and families in our area.
“In particular, I want to acknowledge the immense efforts of our Baby Friendly team and maternity staff in setting and maintaining such high standards that, one day, we hope every part of the country can achieve.”
East Lancashire achieved the first ever Unicef UK ‘Gold Standard’ in 2017 following 20 years during which ‘baby friendly’ standards were pioneered throughout East Lancashire.
The service demonstrates innovation and progress, there is evidence of improved outcomes and integrated working with social care and voluntary sector.
Unicef UK assessors described the exemplary set-up here in East Lancashire as “a strong Baby Friendly lead/team with appropriate knowledge and skills which is effectively supported by an engaged leadership team and proactive Guardian”.
“We’re over the moon that East Lancashire has once again achieved the Unicef Baby Friendly ‘Gold’ standard with flying colours,” Baby Friendly team leader Susan Henry said.
“Mums giving birth in East Lancashire can be assured that achieving the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly standard means we are helping you and your new baby get off to the best start”.
“Baby Friendly means we’ve demonstrated that our policies and care practices meet the gold standard for mother/ baby care practices.”