East Lancashire receives first maternity service Baby Friendly Achieving Sustainability Gold Award

Huge congratulations to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) maternity service for becoming the first to receive the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative Achieving Sustainability Gold Award.

This is a fantastic achievement for the service, and is testament to the excellent support that new babies and their families receive with infant feeding and developing close, loving parent-infant relationships.

ELHT’s Gold Award is the result of 20 years of hard work and dedication to the care of babies and their families. Receiving its first accreditation in 1998, the service has long been an ambassador for the Baby Friendly standards, and its breastfeeding initiation rates have increased from 27% to 76%. By implementing new Achieving Sustainability standards, the service has committed to embedding high quality care for the longer-term, focusing on the leadership, culture and monitoring needed to maintain high standards and move the service forward. The Baby Friendly team was delighted to grant this first prestigious award.

“On behalf of Unicef UK, I want to congratulate everyone at East Lancashire Hospitals on this excellent achievement and for accreditation as our first Gold Service,” said Unicef UK Baby Friendly Director, Sue Ashmore.

“East Lancashire Hospitals’ Baby Friendly leads have a strong vision of how they can make sure standards of care are maintained and developed and clearly have the backing of a strong and engaged leadership team.”

“We know that the first days and weeks of a child’s life can determine their future, which is why we’re working in public services to help new parents give their babies the love, care and nourishment they need to get the best start in life. The Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative works with health professionals – from midwives to neonatal nurses to health visitors – to make sure new mums get expert support to nurture and feed their baby, whenever they need it.”

Photo courtesy of ELHT. 

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust maternity service has become the first to receive the Baby Friendly Achieving Sustainability Gold Award.

The impact of Achieving Sustainability

"The team gives support, encouragement, direction and importantly belief - a belief that it is possible to change lives, not just by increasing breastfeeding rates but also by enhancing the feeding experience and the closeness felt between a mum and her baby."

Read more about ELHT's journey