Evie, who was on the ward during the celebrations

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s maternity services has been re-accredited with the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Award for the third time since 2013.

And following the news earlier this year that the Trust’s Neonatal service became only the third unit in the country to be given the award, the Trust is now the only Trust in the North West to receive both accreditations.

Pauline Law, Director of Nursing, said: “It is huge honour to receive this prestigious award. It means that our babies will get the best possible start in life by fostering warm, caring and compassionate relationships for them and their families.

“The maternity unit is a highly-valued team and I’m absolutely delighted that they have been reaccredited”

The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by Unicef and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for all mothers.

The Baby Friendly Initiative’s accreditation programme is recognised and recommended in numerous government and policy documents across all four UK nations, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance. Baby Friendly accreditation is a nationally recognised mark of quality care for babies and mothers.

Kathryn Ashton, Infant Feeding Coordinator, said: “I am extremely proud of all the staff within the maternity unit who have worked hard over the past three years in continuing to support mothers.

“It is clear from the assessment that pregnant women and new mothers receive a high standard of care in relation to Infant Feeding at WWL.

Pauline Law, Director of Nursing (centre) with Kathryn Ashton, Infant Feeding Coordinator (left) and Sue Orchard, Head of Midwifery, (right) and Maternity Unit Staff

“There was recognition for strong leadership from the Head of Midwifery and the senior management team and the addition of our extremely enthusiastic guardian.”

Whilst supporting breastfeeding is at the heart of the programme, Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust support all mothers to respond to their babies’ needs for love, care and comfort in a way which promotes close parent-infant relationships and supports the mental health of both baby and mother regardless of their method of feeding.

The Baby Friendly Initiative is helping to create a “new normal” in health services, where babies, their mothers and families are put at the heart of care.

Kathryn added; “Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need, however new mothers at WWL can be confident that their midwives will provide high standards of care.”

The Unicef report said: “The staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust are commended for their hard work over the last three years in continuing to support mothers. It was clear to the assessment team, that in many areas pregnant women and new mothers received a high standard of care. The service has shown great commitment to the Baby Friendly process and it is notable that the Neonatal Unit is Baby Friendly accredited- only the third unit to achieve the award in the country.”