13 January 2022

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s Neonatal Unit has achieved the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Stage One accreditation.

The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global programme first launched in 1994, and extended to neonatal units in 2012, by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation to support breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships by improving standards of care.

The initiative is an evidence based, staged accreditation programme that supports maternity, neonatal, health visiting and children’s centre services to transform their care, setting standards which provide a roadmap for sustainable improvements.

Sam Petridis, Baby Friendly Lead Nurse and Neonatal Sister, said: “We are delighted to have achieved the Baby Friendly Initiative Stage One accreditation and are now excited to continue progressing into the next stage of the programme.

“Through this work, we are putting parent’s voices at the heart of care, minimising separation and empowering parents to take part in all elements of their baby’s care.”

The Neonatal Unit, which achieved Stage One of the accreditation in nine months, is now working towards the second stage out of three, which focuses on educating staff to implement the BFI neonatal standards.

UNICEF assesses the progress made by neonatal units by measuring the skills and knowledge of health professionals, as well as interviewing families to hear about their personal experiences of care.

Sam added: “This is a really important initiative for the Neonatal Unit, we are committed to improving outcomes for babies and their families and by implementing these standards we can help the next generation.”

Photo caption: Left to right: Vicky Wykes, Senior Sister, and Sam Petridis, Baby Friendly Lead Nurse and Neonatal Sister