A United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Baby Friendly assessment, has found the Health Visiting and Family Nurse Partnership Teams in Dumfries and Galloway have met all of the criteria for continued Baby Friendly accreditation, and staff were commended for their work to maintain the standards established. The report states that;
“It was clear to the assessment team that pregnant women and new mothers receive a very high standard of care.”
Health visitors are nurses and midwives who have undertaken further education and training in public health and who visit babies and their families at home from 10 days old through to when they are five. The Family Nurse Partnership offers an intensive home visiting programme to young first time mums and their families.
The UNICEF Baby Friendly initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization and UNICEF. It was established nearly three decades ago to encourage maternity and community support settings to promote breastfeeding and to abide by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The initiative has been expanded and now also includes an assessment of formula feeding, parent/infant relationship building and very early child development, plus enhanced requirements in communication skills for staff.
This year, because of the pandemic, the assessment was done remotely using Microsoft Teams and telephone calls with mothers and video interviews with members of staff.
Janet Dalzell, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Lead Professional Officer for Scotland, stated;
“Implementation of the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards in health visitor and family nurse services ensures that pregnant women and new mothers receive high quality care and support with infant feeding. The recent external assessment in NHS Dumfries and Galloway services demonstrated that all staff were extremely knowledgeable and supportive to breastfeeding mothers and formula feeding mothers. Many mothers reported that they felt extremely supported with their health visitor going above and beyond with the support and care they were offered.”
NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Chief Executive Jeff Ace said he was delighted when he heard about the results of the report.
“These results reflect a consistent commitment to patient care. Well done to all those involved.”