The infant feeding service in West Sussex has launched a programme to achieve UNICEF baby friendly accreditation.
The service operates under the name of MILK! and involves a specialist team and breastfeeding peer supporters working closely with health professionals, children and family centres and voluntary organisations to support infant feeding and promote breastfeeding.
To achieve UNICEF baby friendly accreditation, it will undergo a rigorous assessment process over a number of years through which it will have to provide assurance that it delivers the very highest standards of care.
MILK! works via a network of drop-in centres across West Sussex where mothers can get information and support in a friendly environment. The drop-ins are managed by a local health visitor team with the peer supporters.
The service launched its baby friendly implementation programme at a meeting with UNICEF this week.
The next step is to apply for a Certificate of Commitment to confirm that the service has a comprehensive approach covering all appropriate standards, policies and guidelines to support the baby friendly standard and that all new staff are orientated to the policy.
Trust chair Sue Sjuve said: “Our MILK! team and health visiting services in West Sussex are already doing a top-class job, but we want to get better still and be able to demonstrate to our communities that our services rank alongside the best.”
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