Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Royal Surrey’s Special Care Baby Unit earns Unicef Baby Friendly Award

Staff at Royal Surrey’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) are pleased to have been awarded Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) accreditation. It is the first neonatal unit in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Operational Delivery Network to gain the accreditation. It is also the first in the network to achieve both BFI accreditation and Bliss Baby Charter Gold Award.

Una Jameson, BFI Lead, said: “The award recognises our ongoing commitment to increasing breastfeeding rates and improving care for all mothers of babies in SCBU. It is also a reflection of the dedication and hard work of the team, who have all contributed to achieving this.

“Our journey to achieve accreditation started in September 2020 with the unit gaining a Certificate of Commitment from Unicef. For stage three, two assessors spent two days on the unit talking to parents about their experiences, evaluating the support they received and checking that best practice standards were in place. We’re extremely proud of reaching this stage of the Baby Friendly initiative, although of course it doesn’t stop there, as we’ll continue to have annual audits and two year assessments.”

Introduced to the UK in 1994, the Baby Friendly accreditation programme is recognised and recommended in many government and policy documents across the four UK nations, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance. The programme supports maternity, neonatal, health visiting and children’s centre services to transform their care and works with universities to ensure that newly qualified midwives and health visitors have the strong foundation of knowledge needed to support families.

Giezl Pulanco, SCBU Manager, added: “Breastfeeding is important as it protects babies against a range of serious illnesses, including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy, as well as cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity later in life. We aim to ensure that all mothers and babies in SCBU are supported to form a close and loving relationship, whatever their choice of feeding method, as this is the best start for every baby.”

Royal Surrey’s neonatal unit cares for babies born at 31 weeks and over. It has ten cots with four high dependency incubators and six special care cots.

Amy Stubbs, Professional Director of Midwifery and Paediatric Nursing, praised the team for their achievement: “This is a fantastic recognition of the dedication and hard work of our SCBU team who are passionate about supporting parents and their babies. Everyone should feel very proud of this achievement as it reflects work that will have an important and lasting impact on both babies and their families.”

The Baby Friendly initiative supports services to transform their care.

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