East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s children’s centres, working in partnership with Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust’s Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service (ISPHNS), have been awarded the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly, Achieving Sustainability Gold Award.
It is the first integrated service in the UK to achieve the gold award, and the East Riding is also the first children’s centre service to achieve the gold accreditation.
The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organisation. It is a nationally-recognised mark of quality care for babies and mothers, based on standards designed to provide parents with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby, and to feed their baby in ways which will support optimum health and development.
The accreditation is gained through a process of assessments, including interviews with staff and parents about the care provided in the East Riding.
The council has children’s centres across the East Riding including in Market Weighton, Pocklington and Howden.
Councillor Julie Abraham, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for children, young people and education, said: “I would like to add my congratulations to staff in both teams that are providing such a strong and joined-up service to our families and their new babies in the East Riding.
“The seamlessness of the offer impressed me in my dealings with staff – it doesn’t matter whether a parent is speaking to a team member from a children’s centre or from the NHS Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service, they receive the same strong message about how to give a baby the best possible start in life. To have this recognised through the Gold Award is excellent, and even better to be the first such service in the country to do so.”