West Sussex service presented with Unicef ‘Baby Friendly’ accreditation
17 November 2017

West Sussex service presented with Unicef  ‘Baby Friendly’ accreditation

Our Healthy Child Programme, which delivers health visiting and school nursing services across West Sussex, has been presented with ‘Baby Friendly’ accreditation by ‘Unicef Baby Friendly (UK)’ at a ceremony in Ashington on Wednesday 15 November. 

The award follows rigorous assessment over the last three years which has included a programme of  training and interviews for all staff and extensive discussions with parents. In making the award Unicef’s assessment team said it was “clear that pregnant women and new mothers receive a very high standard of care”.

The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by Unicef and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies. The award is given to organisations after an assessment by a Unicef team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust said "This is important recognition of our work to support mothers and babies in West Sussex. Unicef UK's Baby Friendly Initiative is an important way of increasing breastfeeding rates and improving care for all mothers.

“This is really good news for mothers and babies in West Sussex. Our Healthy Child Programme teams are already committed to giving children the best possible start in life and this accreditation will help ensure 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."

Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore said "We are delighted that Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has achieved full Baby Friendly status. Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers in West Sussex can be confident that their Healthy Child Programme teams will provide high standards of care.”

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust delivers the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) providing support services through pregnancy and from birth to aged 19. This includes 17 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 HCP Team or visit: www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/milk.