Lancashire has been applauded for offering outstanding baby friendly care to families.
UNICEF, which runs the Baby Friendly Initiative, has awarded gold standard to Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service, the Children and Family Wellbeing Service (Lancashire County Council’s response to Early Help), and Families and Babies (FAB) which provides peer support for infant feeding.
The UNICEF programme helps professionals to provide sensitive and effective care and support for mothers, enabling them to make informed choices about feeding their babies.
The assessment highlighted the excellent integrated working that the services carry out with maternity, perinatal mental health, speech and language and children’s services, as well as nurseries, schools and colleges; with a focus on embedding effective training for professionals and good practice across Lancashire. Lancashire and South Cumbria perinatal mother and baby unit at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital is the first nationally to begin the Baby Friendly Initiative journey.
Research shows that 99% per cent of staff within the services are motivated to implement baby friendly standards, and mothers reported that staff were kind and considerate 98% of the time.
The report also stated that there was clear evidence of development within the services and commented their creative and innovative approach.
Sakthi Karunanithi is Director of Public Health and Wellbeing at Lancashire County Council and has been assigned Baby Friendly Guardian. He said: “Achieving the Unicef Baby Friendly ‘Gold’ standard with flying colours is testament to the dedication and hard work of all teams across Lancashire including our Children and Family Wellbeing Service.
“Baby Friendly means we’ve demonstrated that our policies and care practices meet the gold standard for mother/ baby care practices. This means that new parents throughout our county can be assured that we are helping you and your new baby to get off to the best start.”
Michelle Lee, Managing Director of Virgin Care in Lancashire, which runs Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service, said: “I am incredibly proud of all the services for the work they do in supporting new mums and families, and they wholeheartedly deserve to be recognised with the gold standard. This achievement is testament to the hard work of staff who are really committed to making a positive difference for families.”
Marie Longworth, Operations Manager of Families and Babies, which provides Infant Feeding Peer Support, said: “This is a wonderful achievement which truly recognises the hard work of all services and their commitment to providing the very best care to Lancashire mothers and babies. Families and Babies are extremely proud to be part of this initiative and we want to thank all involved who contributed to making this happen. “