LANCASHIRE has once again been celebrated for offering ‘outstanding’ baby friendly care to families.
UNICEF, which runs the Baby Friendly Initiative, has revalidated the gold standard awarded last year to Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service, the Children and Family Wellbeing Service (Lancashire County Council’s response to Early Help), and Families and Babies (FAB), which provides peer support for infant feeding.
The UNICEF programme helps professionals to provide sensitive and effective care and support for mothers, enabling them to make informed choices about feeding their babies.
In the revalidation report, the Lancashire services were commended for how they have sustained Baby Friendly standards in the face of COVID-19 challenges, and how education packages were successfully transferred to online platforms. It also celebrated positive development work around perinatal mental health.
Michelle Lee, manager of Virgin Care in Lancashire, which runs Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service, said: “We are delighted that this gold standard has been revalidated.
“This is particularly poignant following such a challenging year for all our healthcare professionals, and really recognises how they have continued to do their best to support families across Lancashire during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
County Councillor Cosima Towneley, cabinet member for children and families, said: “This is a superb accolade for our services, which make a huge difference to families across Lancashire.
“We believe in providing excellent support to give children the best start in life and removing unnecessary, unhelpful, barriers at all levels to ensure parents get the support they need quickly and easily. I am delighted at the success of our teams in this crucial area.”
Rachel Wilson, operations manager at families and babies, said: “After a challenging year the FAB team feel privileged to have been able to continue to support breastfeeding families and contribute to this amazing achievement. We have developed new skills and working practices that will continue to enhance the service we offer to new families.”
Gold accredited services are required to undergo a formal revalidation process one year following Gold accreditation and every three years thereafter.