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Caithness Maternity Unit Receives International Recognition

9th April 2012

The Henderson Maternity Unit at Caithness General Hospital has been re-accredited as Baby Friendly, which means it is internationally recognised by UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) as providing high quality support to mothers and babies.

Staff at the Wick unit were originally presented with the prestigious Baby Friendly Award in March 2010. An assessment team paid a return visit in February of this year to re-assess the unit against the Baby Friendly criteria and NHS Highland has now been told it has been reaccredited.

Their re-assessment report said: "Caithness Maternity Unit has met all of the criteria for continued Baby Friendly accreditation and the staff are commended for their work to maintain the standards established at initial accreditation.

"It was clear to the assessment team that pregnant women and new mothers receive an excellent standard of care. All mothers interviewed expressed great praise for the care they received from staff at Caithness Maternity Unit and were eager for staff to be made aware of this."

NHS Highland Infant Feeding Advisor, Karen Mackay, said: "To achieve re-accreditation is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the ongoing commitment and hard work by all staff involved with the care of antenatal and breastfeeding women in Caithness.

"The work carried out voluntarily by the breastfeeding peer supporters has been a fantastic addition to the team in Caithness.

"The re-assessment process also audited the care, advice and information given to bottle feeding women and all standards of care were reported as excellent."

And Lead Midwife, Mary Burnside, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have achieved re- accreditation and to pass with flying colours. Congratulations to the maternity team, Caithness Breast Feeding Peer Supporters and local mothers, who have worked together to make this happen."

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 and babies.

In the UK, the initiative works with health professionals to ensure that mothers and babies receive high quality support to enable successful breastfeeding.

The award demonstrates that the recognised best practice standards are in place and the hospital will receive a plaque to acknowledge this achievement.

Anyone wanting more information or support with breastfeeding should contact infant feeding advisor Karen Mackay on 01463 704842 or by email at Karen.mackay3[AT]nhs.net.

 

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