Stage two is the second phase in the department’s journey towards achieving the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) accreditation. Stage one involved setting policies and guidelines into place to support the overarching BFI standards: Close and loving relationships, breastmilk and breastfeeding, and parents as partners in care. Stage two built upon this foundation to ensure that all staff have a thorough understanding of all three principles in order to effectively support families and embed the standards within neonatal care.
Being awarded this accreditation means so much to the department and staff have expressed the ‘positive impact’ this will have on their unit, adding it ‘gives us a sense of pride to have recognition for the work that we have achieved’.
Dellen Prescott, Neonatal Infant feeding lead says,
“I’m so pleased with our results as we achieved 100% passes in almost all of our sections. It shows how hard everyone is working toward the Baby Friendly standards and the feedback from UNICEF was that the passion for compassionate care of patients and families by the whole team really shone through.”
Lead Consultant for the unit, Dr Chris Warren added,
“The Neonatal department should feel proud of their contribution towards this accreditation and the benefit that this will have on our care and support for families.”
In order to gain the Stage two accreditation, all staff completed BFI focused training, based on the Neonatal standards, during mandatory training day updates, as well as take regular audits to identify areas that required further input, as needed. Teaching sessions were also undertaken with medical staff as part of the department’s weekly clinical education meetings
By having this accreditation in place, parents and families should experience a truly holistic approach to the care of their baby, which encompasses a family centred approach. The Neonatal team sees parents as the primary caregivers and their focus is to empower parents to undertake as many aspects of their baby’s care as possible. The move to the new unit earlier this year has also been hugely beneficial in enhancing this change, through unrestricted access for parents, improved facilities such as reclining chairs for skin-to-skin and increased access to breast pumps.
The team is now focused on moving on to Stage 3 when they will then gain their official Baby Friendly Accreditation, enabling them to strive for further improvements to the department’s environment, as well as improved opportunities for parent and families.