A commuity health organisation has been deemed ‘baby friendly’ by children’s charity UNICEF.
Sussex Community NHS Trust (SCT) has been awarded Stage 1 Baby Friendly accreditation by the organisation.
This is really good news for SCT, and even better news for mothers and babies in West SussexKate Pilcher, head of Children’s Services at SCT
SCT services, including infant feeding and health visiting, have been assessed over the last two years to prove staff deliver the standard of care.
A spokesman for UNICEF said: “Sussex Community NHS Trust is highly commended for the quality of the documents submitted and the thorough way in which the necessary processes to implement the Baby Friendly standards have been planned.
“The mechanisms to implement best practice standards appear robust and well thought out.
“The infant feeding team covers different disciplines, and includes key trainers in each Health Visiting Team, which is a useful way of ensuring staff complete the skills review element of the training.”
The Baby Friendly Initiative is designed to ‘support breastfeeding and parent infant relationships’.
UNICEF said breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies becoming ill and is associated with a reduced risk of later childhood disease.
Kate Pilcher, head of Children’s Services at SCT, said: “This is really good news for SCT, and even better news for mothers and babies in West Sussex. “SCT health visiting services are already committed to giving children the best possible start in life; achieving our stage one accreditation will help us ensure that all mothers and babies receive the very highest standards of care, not only by providing expert advice, but also by supporting all parents to build strong relationships with their babies.
“All our health visitors in West Sussex now attend a training programme which has been approved by UNICEF.
“This should enable all mothers and fathers to receive the very best information on which to make decisions about how to feed and care for their baby, and also ensure that they receive the support that they need to do this.”
SCT provides 21 MILK! Breastfeeding drop-ins every week across West Sussex.
The drop-ins offer both professional advice from infant feeding advisors and support and information from trained breastfeeding peer supporters.
Information on venues and times can be obtained from your heath visitor or at www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk
For more information about UNICEF’s baby friendly initiative go to unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly
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