Midwives from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust are celebrating achieving a prestigious “baby friendly” quality mark for the third time.
The trust’s maternity service has been re-accredited with the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative award, designed to help organisations improve care. This is the third time the service has been re-accredited since 2013.
“They are a fantastic team who continue to develop and look for improvements”
Earlier this year, the trust’s neonatal unit became only the third in the country to receive the award, making Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh the only trust in the north west to achieve both.
The global Baby Friendly Initiative was set up by Unicef and the World Health Organization to support breastfeeding and boost parent and baby bonding.
Its accreditation scheme is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and recognised as good practice across all four UK nations.
In their report on the maternity unit, Unicef assessors praised the dedication of staff and the high standard of care.
“The staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust are commended for their hard work over the last three years in continuing to support mothers,” said their report.
“It was clear to the assessment team, that in many areas pregnant women and new mothers received a high standard of care,” it stated.
The report also praised the strong leadership provided by the head of midwifery and senior management and the trust’s official Baby Friendly Guardian.
“Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need”
Pauline Law, directors of nursing at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh FT, said achieving the award was testament to the hard work of staff.
“I’m absolutely delighted that they have been re-accredited – it is no mean feat,” she said. “They are a fantastic team who continue to develop and look for improvements.”
In order to achieve the accreditation, staff must be seen to provide sensitive care for mothers, enabling them to make informed choices about feeding and supporting them to get breastfeeding off to a good start and overcome any challenges.
The trust’s infant feeding co-ordinator, Kathryn Ashton, said she was “extremely proud” of staff in the maternity unit.
“It is clear from the assessment that pregnant women and new mothers receive a high standard of care in relation to infant feeding at the trust,” she said.
While breastfeeding is at the heart of the programme, she said staff supported the mental health and wellbeing of all mothers and babies helping then forge all-important close relationships regardless of feeding methods.
“Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need,” she said.
“However, new mothers at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh can be confident that their midwives will provide high standards of care,” she added.
Baby Friendly Initiative