Health visitor service gets global seal of approval as ‘baby friendly’

Health visitor service gets global seal of approval as ‘baby friendly’
13 December 2017

The health visiting service delivered by Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent NHS Partnership Trust (SSOTP) has been recognised by a global initiative as ‘baby friendly’.

The service has been reaccredited with the prestigious Baby Friendly award from international children’s charity UNICEF, which is recognition of best practice and the ongoing excellent standards of high quality care being delivered to parents, by members of SSOTP’s health visiting teams and community breastfeeding team.

UNICEF assessors spent two days with SSOTP’s infant feeding team in Stoke-on-Trent and the Trust’s health visiting service staff, which included interviewing staff and parents, reviewing policies and operating processes to see if the organisation meets global UNICEF Baby Friendly standards of care.

Assessors randomly selected members of the health visiting service and evaluated their breastfeeding knowledge and skills against the UNICEF standards. They also interviewed a number of mothers over the telephone, at child health clinics and breastfeeding support groups asking them about the information and care they had received from service staff both during the antenatal and postnatal period.

A number of premises in GP surgeries, children’s centres and health centres were also reviewed to ensure that the Trust is providing a breastfeeding friendly welcome to families.

Infant Feeding Lead Pauline Evans said: “The assessment team recognised that mothers consistently reported how they valued the support received from their health visitor and appreciated the kindness shown, with a strong appreciation for the support and excellent job done by the health visiting team.

“During the assessment feedback session, assessors stated that they looked forward to and enjoyed being involved with assessments at SSOTP which was great to hear. The achievement of the reaccreditation is testament to the hard work and dedication that has been put into this process and we are very proud of this recognition.”

SSOTP Director of Nursing & Quality Rose Goodwin said: “The UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation is rigorously assessed and indicates that the care and support pregnant women, new mothers and their families receive for their baby is of the highest standard. This is a wonderful accolade for the Trust and demonstrates just how consistently hard the health visiting service work to ensure we maintain best practice standards.”

You can find out more about the Trust’s Infant Feeding Service at