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Local celebrations as UNICEF ‘Baby Friendly’ status is renewed

Published Monday 24 June 2019 at 9:32

Two of the area’s major providers of children and family services are jubilant after once again being accredited as ‘baby friendly’ organisations by UNICEF UK.

Following inspection by independent UNICEF UK assessors in March, the hard work and dedication of staff and supporters at Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Centres and Lancashire Care Foundation NHS Trust’s (LCFT) Health Visiting service have been rewarded by having their UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative status renewed.

Councillor Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said:

I am delighted at this achievement – this is a brilliant reflection of the dedication and hard work of our Children’s Centre staff, Health Visiting Teams and great partnership working with LCFT. We are serious about supporting mums to breastfeed in Blackburn with Darwen – as our move to become a breastfeeding friendly borough in 2018 shows. Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses and we want to make sure that parents receive high-quality support and information at all times.

Amy Nolan, Service Manager, at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

We are so pleased mothers in Blackburn with Darwen have the satisfaction of knowing that their Midwives/Health Visitors and Children’s Centre staff are providing the highest standard of care.

To commemorate the latest ‘baby friendly’ achievement, mums, babies, health visitors, infant feeding staff and volunteers came together to celebrate at a special event held at Livesey Children’s Centre on Thursday 20 June.

Breastfeeding in Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire has made great strides in recent years. In 1991, just 27 per cent of mothers initiated breastfeeding; the current figure is 77 per cent.

Blackburn with Darwen became a breastfeeding friendly borough in 2018 and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) became the first NHS Trust in the country to achieve UNICEF Baby Friendly ‘Gold Standard’ in 2017.

East Lancashire Hospitals’ Baby Friendly Lead, Sue Henry said:

Mums giving birth in our area can be assured that by working together to achieve and maintain the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly standard, Lancashire Care, East Lancashire Hospitals and Blackburn with Darwen Council are working hard to give them and their babies the best start in life.

Go online for more information and support about starting and maintaining breastfeeding and details of local breastfeeding groups.

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