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Gold award for baby friendly team

Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Healthy Family Team Service is celebrating achieving the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Sustainability Award; a nationally recognised mark of quality care.  

This prestigious accolade recognises a service for demonstrating sustainable leadership, a positive culture, ongoing monitoring and continued progression.  All of these provide a solid foundation to promote, protect and support breastfeeding and close loving relationships between parents and babies.  

Assessing the service on its implementation of the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) best practice standards, the BFI assessors spent two days with the service and gained feedback from nearly 50 mothers receiving care from the team.  Theresa Drozdowska, Infant Feeding Lead said: “The feedback was hugely positive and very rewarding that many mothers highlighted how important our specialist breastfeeding clinics, where we provide more complex care, are in resolving their problems, enabling them to fully enjoy their breastfeeding journey.”

One mother who has benefited from this specialist support, is Kathleen, who attended the clinic with her then seven week old baby Alistair, as she was still experiencing soreness whilst breastfeeding.  This meant that Alistair often got fed breast milk via bottle, along with some formula via bottle, however Kathleen wanted to breastfeed.  The team was able to advise and support Kathleen to position Alistair in a way that encouraged him to breastfeed successfully which meant both mother and baby enjoyed the feed and Kathleen was able to gain confidence to continue.  Kathleen is continuing to get support from the Healthy Family Team and also from the Infant Feeding Lead to ensure she continues to grow in confidence with her feeding so she can fulfil her ambition of feeding for many months.

The BFI assessors praised the infant feeding leads for their leadership, and particularly for the innovative infant feeding training that staff consider to be inspiring and motivating.  They also identified the service leadership team’s strength in understanding the importance of adopting the BFI best practice standards in order to achieve a commitment across both staff teams and management.  The breastfeeding culture around the standards was assessed via a survey completed by staff who said they felt able to contribute ideas and felt valued by the service. Over 95% of mothers interviewed by the assessors reported overwhelmingly that staff were always kind and caring; a glowing reflection of the dedication shown by the team.

The assessors were also impressed with the accurate breastfeeding data collection, and particularly how local challenges are addressed in each area, responding to the individual needs of diverse communities.

The BFI team also assessed the service on future progression and how it will continue to improve and build on services offered to mothers to support their breastfeeding journeys.  Alison Jee, Infant Feeding Lead, said:  “We are delighted with this outcome and that the BFI team was impressed with the initiatives showcased, but it doesn’t end here; in order to maintain this gold standard we need to present a yearly portfolio to evidence ongoing progression and maintenance of standards, along with audits to reflect continued high care standards and reinforce staff knowledge.  We look forward to continuing to provide these high standards and giving vital support to mothers who need it.”



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