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North Lincolnshire health visitors fully accredited as ‘baby friendly’

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Health visiting teams across North Lincolnshire are celebrating after being awarded full “baby friendly” accreditation from the United Nations Children’s Fund Unicef.

The health visiting service, which covers Scunthorpe, Glanford and the Isle of Axholme, has now received the highest level in the Unicef UK baby friendly initiative – stage three.

“It’s a reflection of the hard work our staff put in to continuously improve”

John Berry

Achieving stages one and two of the initiative are about getting the right polices in place, staff training and guidelines and knowledge.

Level three is about the outcome of these standards being implemented, specifically the care and experience of patients. Teams are awarded the full accreditation after all three stages have been completed.

All of the women spoken to as part of the accreditation process were happy with their care and 88% said they were very happy with the care provided by their health visiting teams.

Staff were commended by accreditors for the very high standards of care that pregnant women and new mothers receive under their service.

John Berry, operational matron for children’s community and therapy services at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have achieved the level three accreditation.

“It’s a reflection of the hard work our staff put in to continuously improve services for our local women,” he said.

He added: “This is the final stage of the accreditation, which is the result of a number of years of hard work.”

Introduced to the UK in 1995, the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative is based on a global accreditation programme run by Unicef and the World Health Organization.

It is designed to support breastfeeding and parent infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care. It is the first ever national intervention to have a positive effect on breastfeeding rates in the UK.

Accreditation lasts for two years after which a re-assessment of all the standards takes place.

Subsequently re-assessments take place every one to five years, depending on how well the facility is deemed to be maintaining the standards.

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