NHS Borders recognised for being ‘baby friendly’
NHS Borders has again been recognised for being ‘baby friendly’ by an international humanitarian organisation.
Following an assessment earlier this summer, the health body has announced it has been awarded UNICEF Baby Friendly re-accreditation for the fourth year in a row.
UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation is awarded based on a set of interlinking, evidenced-based standards for maternity, neonatal, health visiting, family nurse partnership and children’s centres.
The standards are designed to provide parents with the best possible care to establish close and loving relationships with their baby.
UNICEF visited NHS Borders at the end of June to formally assess the standards of care provided by its health visitors and Family Nurse Partnership staff. Following the visit, the assessor’s report stated that it was clear that pregnant women and new mothers receive a “very high standard of care”.
The visit involved a thorough inspection of the premises where care is delivered, as well as interviewing parents and staff to ensure all aspects of the UNICEF standards are being attained.
The assessor’s report acknowledged the challenges our staff faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, but commended them for their “hard work” to reinstate the full universal health visiting pathway.
As a result of the feedback NHS Borders health bosses have now been invited to progress towards achieving the Gold ‘Sustainability’ Award. Achieving this award would help embed and maintain ‘Baby Friendly’ practices in the longer term and would reduce the need for the current level of continued external assessment.
Sarah Horan, director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at NHS Borders, said: “Receiving UNICEF Baby Friendly re-accreditation is an amazing achievement, and I am so incredibly proud of our Health Visiting and Family Nurse Partnership staff for their ongoing dedication and commitment to providing excellent care – your hard work has made this re-accreditation possible.
“We will continue to build upon this success to ensure that families in the Borders receive the best support possible from our teams.”