East Riding strikes gold with Baby Friendly Initiative Award for families across the region

Tue, 21 May 2019

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s children’s centres, working in partnership with Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust’s Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service (ISPHNS), havebeen awardedthe prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly, Achieving Sustainability Gold Award.

It is the first integrated service in the UK to achieve the gold award,

and the East Riding is also the first children’s centre service to achieve the gold accreditation.

The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organisation. It is a nationally-recognised mark of quality care for babies and mothers, based on standards designed to provide parents with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby, and to feed their baby in ways which will support optimum health and development.

The accreditation is gained through a process of assessments, including interviews with staff and parents about the care provided in the East Riding.

The report identified that 100 percent of mothers reported that staff were kind and considerate, that services care for their staff and that, in turn, the staff care about local families.

Anne Woods, the deputy programme director for the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, commended the children’s centres and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust for the quality of the evidence submitted.

She said: “The services have submitted an outstanding portfolio of evidence. There is clearly a great emphasis on working together to improve outcomes for babies, mothers and families.”

The council has children’s centres across the East Riding, including Anlaby, Beeford, Beverley, Bridlington, Brough, Cottingham, Driffield, Hedon, Hessle, Hornsea, Howden, Goole, Market Weighton, Pocklington and Withernsea.

Councillor Julie Abraham, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: “I would like to add my congratulations to staff in both teams that are providing such a strong and joined-up service to our families and their new babies in the East Riding.

“The seamlessness of the offer impressed me in my dealings with staff – it doesn’t matter whether a parent is speaking to a team member from a children’s centre or from the NHS Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service, they receive the same strong message about how to give a baby the best possible start in life. To have this recognised through the Gold Award is excellent, and even better to be the first such service in the country to do so.”

Eoin Rush, the council’s head of children and young people support and safeguarding services, said: “Our servicesacross the East Riding are committed to giving every child the best start in life and I am delighted that this has been recognised with this gold award.I would like to congratulate everyone who has worked so hard to achieve it.”

Justine Rooke, ISPHN Service Manager said: “We are really proud to have been awarded the Baby Friendly Gold Award. This is really good news forbabies and families in the East Riding as it demonstratesthat our services are being delivered to a veryhigh standardand aresupporting parents and carers to achieve healthy outcomes at an important time in theirbabies’ development.”

For more information about the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative visit https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/