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Baby Friendly team maintains international gold standard through pandemic

by Debbie Manning | May 18, 2021
Bedfordshire health visitors have maintained their international gold standard throughout the pandemic for their work to promote and support breastfeeding throughout the county.

The Bedfordshire Children’s Community Services team holds the prestigious gold Baby Friendly Award from Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) and the service has been revalidated.BFI Gold Image

Despite the pandemic bringing significant challenges for the service, the team – part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust - introduced innovations throughout to provide a Covid-19 safe infant feeding service. As the effects of Covid 19 were felt across the county, health visitors worked to deliver core services while their assistants stepped up to become a point of contact for routine infant support. 

“During recent months, a great deal of work has gone into restoring the service, with health visitors now working to a new normal, the infant feeding team back in their usual roles,” said the Unicef report. 

“Bedfordshire Community Health Team 0-19 Service is highly commended for the quality of the evidence submitted and the thorough way in which the necessary processes to embed and further develop care related to the Baby Friendly standards has been planned and implemented.

“The managers and infant feeding team are highly commended for all the efforts made.”

Simon Harwin, Director of Luton and Bedfordshire Children’s Services said: “This is an excellent achievement and testament to the resilience of our staff. They have continued to maintain this service for families across Bedfordshire against a backdrop of huge challenge this year.

“Their gold accreditation is richly deserved and I congratulate every one of them for the sheer hard work and dedication they have shown.”

Glenda Hall, 0-19 Team Head of Service said: “I am delighted to receive such positive feedback from Unicef. The pandemic had a real impact on the service and the team has made a huge effort to maintain their much needed support for families. They are to be congratulated.”
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