NHS Borders has been awarded UNICEF Baby Friendly re-accreditation for the fourth year in a row following an assessment earlier this summer.

UNICEF visited the Borders at the end of June to formally assess the standards of care provided by the Health Visiting and Family Nurse Partnership staff.

Following the visit, the assessor’s report stated that it was clear that pregnant women and new mothers receive a ‘very high standard of care’ at NHS Borders.

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The visit involved a thorough inspection of the premises where care is delivered, as well as interviewing parents and staff to ensure all aspects of the UNICEF standards are being attained.

The assessor’s report acknowledged the challenges staff faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, but commended them for their ‘hard work’ to reinstate the full universal health visiting pathway.

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As a result of the feedback we received from UNICEF, we have now been invited to progress towards achieving the Gold ‘Sustainability’ Award.

Achieving this award would help embed and maintain ‘Baby Friendly’ practices in the longer term and would reduce the need for the current level of continued external assessment.

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Sarah Horan, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at NHS Borders, said: “Receiving UNICEF Baby Friendly re-accreditation is an amazing achievement, and I am so incredibly proud of our Health Visiting and Family Nurse Partnership staff for their ongoing dedication and commitment to providing excellent care – your hard work has made this re-accreditation possible.

“We will continue to build upon this success to ensure that families in the Borders receive the best support possible from our teams.”