The Maternity service based at Leighton Hospital in Crewe has added another significant accreditation to its increasing number of accolades, after being awarded a top rating by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.
Following a thorough two-day assessment of the Maternity Unit, alongside Neonatal and Paediatric services, Leighton Hospital has been officially named as a UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Hospital for the first time in its history.
The Baby Friendly Initiative is a programme designed to support breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care. It aims to ensure that all parents can make informed decisions about feeding their babies and that they are supported in their chosen feeding method.
The programme provides a framework for the implementation of best practice and is divided into three stages, with organisations requiring to complete audits and assessments at each stage. Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT), which runs Leighton Hospital, achieved Stage One in 2010 and Stage Two in 2013. The Trust was assessed for Stage Three in May 2015 and is now fully Baby Friendly accredited.
Pam Cornwall, Lead Nurse and Head of Midwifery at MCHFT, said: “It gives me enormous pleasure that we have received this accreditation. We scored 100% in 10 out of the 14 criteria that we were assessed on, with our lowest score being 91%. This is a phenomenal achievement and I would like to thank everyone within our Maternity, Neonatal and Paediatric teams for their commitment to continually improving our services.
“It has been a fantastic few months for the Maternity Unit, having already been named as Midwifery Service of the Year by the Royal College of Midwives in March. When these achievements are considered alongside us being named as one of the safest units in the country by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) programme, we have now received the three top ratings that any Maternity service can be awarded.
“There aren’t many organisations in the UK who have achieved what we have, which means that local pregnant women and their families really do have a top class service on their doorstep.”
The Maternity Unit at Leighton Hospital has been fully refurbished in recent years and can provide care for all women, from low-risk births in the purpose-built Midwifery-Led Unit, which offers birthing pools, ambient mood lighting, en-suite facilities and private courtyards, through to those who may require more attention in the traditional Labour Ward. A new high-dependency area is available for women who may require more intensive specialised care during labour, further increasing the safety of their care, whilst home births are also offered, all supported by a team of dedicated and highly qualified Midwives. Further information about the range of maternity options available from the service is available at www.mcht.nhs.uk/maternity.