Healthcare provider wins baby friendly recognition

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Plymouth Herald



Plymouth Herald

By SOPHIE TAYLOR Health Reporter@sophiesjtaylor

A CITY healthcare provider has achieved a national quality award for its work with mothers and babies.

Plymouth Community Healthcare has been awarded the UK Baby Friendly initiative accreditation and receives national recognition from UNICEF (United Nation’s International Children’s Emergency Fund).

The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides quality standards for health services to implement, and deliver practical and effective antenatal and post natal care for all pregnant women, new mothers and babies.

In the UK, the initiative works with UK public services to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships.

Full accreditation was awarded to Plymouth Community Healthcare after an assessment by a UNICEF team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.

Jan Potter, breastfeeding strategy lead at the Plymouth Public Health Improvement team said: “Plymouth has been working towards the UNICEF UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative for the past five years.

“Achieving full BFI accreditation is an acknowledgement of the commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism of all the staff involved.

“Midwifery and health visiting teams in Plymouth have shared the goal of providing the highest quality care for pregnant women, new mothers and their supporters.

“I see this as a joint success as it demonstrates the improvements which have been made in both organisations.”

Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life.

Sue Ashmore, national Baby Friendly Initiative programme director, said: “We are delighted that Plymouth Community Healthcare has achieved full Baby Friendly status. Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need.

“Mothers in Plymouth can be confident that their health visitors and midwives will provide the highest standards of care.”

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