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Maternity units given top ‘baby friendly’ rating by UNICEF

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Doncaster and Bassetlaw hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised for the high standard of care its staff given to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

The trust has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award from UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. The global programme is intended to support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby relationships. 

The award was given to the trust after a team of UNICEF assessors concluded in December that best practice standards were in place in the maternity units at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital.

They were assessed against criteria relating to antenatal care, keeping mothers and babies together, offering practical information and support, breastfeeding, artificial feeding and general information and support.

Both units scored significantly higher than the 80% standard required in all the criteria. Bassetlaw Hospital’s unit scored 100% in 15 of the 26 assessment criteria, while Doncaster Royal Infirmary achieved 100% in six areas and over 90% in 11 areas. 

The assessment also found two-thirds of mothers at both hospitals chose to breastfeed.

The UNICEF assessors commended staff for their work and efforts and confirmed the trust met all of the criteria relating to Stage 3 accreditation – the highest level.

Elaine Merrills, infant feeding coordinator at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, said: “Achieving full ‘baby friendly’ status means that mothers can be confident that their midwives provide high standards of care.”


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