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We receive OUTSTANDING result for Stage 2 UNICEF Baby Friendly
22 November 2016

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust gets OUTSTANDING result for Stage 2 UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation

Our Healthy Child Programme in West Sussex has received an OUTSTANDING result for Stage 2 Baby Friendly accreditation by UNICEF.

To achieve this recognition our Health Visiting and Infant Feeding Teams have undergone a rigorous assessment process to provide assurance that they deliver the very highest standards of care. We received Stage 1 Baby Friendly accreditation in July 2015 and were “highly commended”.

Stage 2 of the Baby Friendly Initiative assessment measures the level of knowledge and skills of our staff that provide breastfeeding support and care for pregnant women, mothers and babies.

We were assessed against 11 criteria and scored between 93 per cent and 100 per cent for each. The pass mark is 80 per cent – overall we achieved 97 per cent. The UNICEF assessors commented that it was a “privilege to work alongside our services”, “our staff are some of the kindest and compassionate they have ever met”, “staff have excellent communication skills” and that this was “one of the most positive assessments they have undertaken.”

We are now working towards Stage 3 accreditation. Assessors will interviews mothers across West Sussex to assess if they have been given antenatal and postnatal advice and support by their Health Visiting service as required by UNICEF Baby Friendly. We aim to pass Stage 3 and to be fully accredited as UNICEF Baby Friendly in 2017.

Kate Pilcher, our Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Baby Friendly Guardian said, “This is really good news for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT), and even better news for mothers and babies in West Sussex. Our health visiting services are already committed to giving children the best possible start in life; achieving our stage two accreditation will help us ensure that all mothers and babies receive the very highest standards of care, not only by providing expert advice, but also by supporting all parents to build strong relationships with their babies.

“All our health visitors in West Sussex attend a training programme which has been approved by UNICEF. This should enable all mothers and fathers to receive the very best information on which to make decisions about how to feed and care for their baby, and also ensure that they receive the support that they need to do this.”

We provide 21 MILK! breastfeeding drop-ins every week across West Sussex. The drop-ins offer both professional advice from our infant feeding advisors and support and information from our trained breastfeeding peer supporters. Information on venues and times can be obtained from your heath visitor or visit: www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/milk.

For more information about UNICEF’s baby friendly initiative visit: www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly.