Harrogate District Hospital’s Maternity Unit has become only the second in the whole of the UK to be awarded Unicef’s Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Award.
In addition, the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) has become the second in the whole of the UK to be awarded Unicef Baby Friendly Accreditation.
This combination of both a Gold award for Maternity and full accreditation for SCBU is the first of its kind in the whole of the UK.
Harrogate’s Maternity Unit has held full Unicef Baby Friendly Accreditation since 2002, with the Gold Award – set up in November 2016 – requiring extra work and development to further enhance standards of care.
This involved ensuring 16 criteria are met which are independently assessed by a Unicef representative.
Alison Pedlingham, Head of Midwifery at Harrogate District Hospital, said: “I’m so proud of my colleagues in both the Maternity Unit and the Special Care Baby Unit. These awards are entirely due to their hard work and dedication to providing the best possible care for new arrivals, mums and their families. So much work has gone into these achievements.”
Sue Ashmore, Programme Director, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, said: “Harrogate is the first service in the country to receive both a Gold award for their maternity service and
full accreditation for the neonatal unit.
"It is a fantastic achievement and a testament to, not only the hard work of all the staff, but to the innovative and ‘can do’ culture within the service. Not only have they improved the care of mothers and babies in Harrogate, the staff have also shown others what can be done, which will hopefully influence improvements in care for all mothers and babies in the UK.”