NNUH maternity team achieves BFI full re-accreditation

The maternity team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is celebrating being fully re-accredited by UNICEF UK with the prestigious Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) award. The initiative supports breastfeeding and developing close and loving parent infant relationships so that all babies get the best possible start in life.

The re-accreditation, which assesses standards of infant feeding and relationship building amongst staff, pregnant people, and new families, was carried out in July over two days of thorough assessments. The maternity unit had previously been given full accreditation in 2017 and was due to be reassessed in 2020, before being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trusts which implement the Baby Friendly standards receive the prestigious Baby Friendly award, a nationally recognised mark of quality care. Most maternity units and health visiting services across the UK are now working towards Baby Friendly accreditation. New neonatal standards have been introduced to help services improve care and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at NNUH passed stage one of the accreditation process in October last year.

Stage one accreditation ensures facilities have the correct policies and procedures in place. Stage two looks at staff knowledge and skills. Full accreditation is given when there is evidence that the standards are fully embedded into practice, and this is assessed by interviewing new mothers, clinical staff, and managers.

During the assessment, 24 clinical staff were interviewed demonstrating they had the required levels of knowledge and skills. This included doctors, hospital and community midwives, maternity care assistants, neonatal staff, and midwifery managers. Assessors also spoke to new mothers about their experiences. The maternity team also supplied infant feeding statistics and audits which showed that the high standards are being maintained and improved.

Stephanie Pease, Divisional Midwifery Director at NNUH, said: “We’re delighted to have received this re-accreditation. I would like to thank the entire maternity team for their continuous hard work. We have a fantastic infant feeding team in place at NNUH and achieving this re-accreditation means that our service users can be confident they will receive the best possible care. We will be reassessed in three years to ensure we continue to provide the highest level of care, and so that we can give the babies born here the best possible start in life.”