CLCH health visiting teams shine with UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation

Published: 25th March 2024

Three of our health visiting teams across CLCH have been awarded the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation.

Our Wandsworth and Richmond Health Visiting Team and Merton Health Visiting Team have both successfully been awarded the Baby Friendly Initiative. 

In addition to this, we have a further cause for celebration as the Tri-borough Health Visiting Team have retained their gold status for yet another year running. 

Richmond Health Visiting Team BFI Accreditation.jpg  Merton.jpeg

Wandsworth and Richmond               Merton

The Baby Friendly Initative is a global programme which aims to transform healthcare for babies, their mothers, and families as part of a wider global partnership between UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO). In the UK, the Baby Friendly Initiative works with public services to better support families with feeding and developing close, loving relationships to ensure that all babies get the best possible start in life. The award is given to health facilities/hospitals/universities after an assessment by a UNICEF UK team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place providing exceptional care and support to families in their crucial early stages.

“Achieving Baby Friendly Accreditation shows the Wandsworth and Richmond Health Visiting Teams commitment to improving the health outcomes for mothers and babies. The dedication and collective efforts of our teams has been the driving force behind this achievement. Having the standards embedded in our everyday practice means that we will continue to offer high quality care.” Daisy Gresswell (RNutr, BFIqL) Infant Feeding and Healthy Weight Team Lead - Wandsworth

Cathy Cannon, Infant feeding Lead, Health Visiting – Inner boroughs, said “Retaining the Baby Friendly Gold award since 2019 has been a fantastic achievement, and we remain the only boroughs in London to have achieved this prestigious award to date. It is testament to the knowledge, skills and commitment of staff who have been working in challenging situations to provide high quality care to mothers and families with feeding and building close loving relationships with their babies. It is also recognition of commitment from senior management to support implementation of the BFI standards, effective monitoring of breastfeeding rates and BFI standards being firmly embedded into practice and progressing the service".

Charlie Sheldon, Chief Nursing Officer said, "Thank you to everyone involved in ensuring we maintain and progress our BFI accreditations across the Trust and continue to provide an exceptional service for families."

Our teams in Ealing and Brent current hold stage 2 of the Baby Friendly accreditation and will be assessed in the coming months for the next stage.

The accreditation stages are as follows:

Stage 1 - Laying a Strong Foundation:

  1. Establish written policies and guidelines to support the standards.
  2. Develop an education program to train staff on implementing the standards effectively in their respective roles.
  3. Set up processes for implementing, auditing, and evaluating the standards.
  4. Ensure that there is no promotion of breastmilk substitutes, bottles, teats, or dummies anywhere in the facility or by any staff member.

Stage 2 - Educating the Workforce:

  1. Educate staff members to implement the standards based on their roles and the services they provide.

Stage 3 - Supporting Parents' Experiences:

  1. For health visiting and public health nursing services, Stage 3 assessment involves ensuring that mothers receive support with feeding, accurate information, and guidance on building relationships.

Gold Level - Achieving Sustainability: Gold represents the highest level of achievement.

You can read more about the Baby Friendly Initiative on the UNICEF website:

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