International award presented to Wigan's maternity services for second time

Wigan’s maternity services have received international recognition for the second consecutive year.
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Unicef Baby Friendly UK has reaccredited Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with its Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Award – a year on from successfully achieving it for the first time.

It is the second trust in the North West to receive the prestigious award and the ninth in the country.

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It comes as the trust celebrates the work of midwives around the world during the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

Staff celebrate receiving the awardStaff celebrate receiving the award
Staff celebrate receiving the award

More than 3,000 women and their babies are cared for every year either at Wigan Infirmary or out in the community.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, babies are born every day and midwives are continuing to play a vital role providing care for women and babies.

The neonatal unit, health visiting services and start well centres have also been “baby friendly” accredited in some way since the trust joined Unicef’s initiative in 2013.

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Fiona Bryant, head of midwifery, said: “Our services take great pride in working towards the highest standards possible for our babies and their mothers.

“To receive this honour from an international and respected organisation like Unicef is a huge credit to the mammoth effort and work carried out by everyone across our maternity services who foster warm, caring and compassionate relationships with our families.”

Kathryn Ashton, infant feeding co-ordinator, added: “We decided to join forces with Unicef UK’s Baby Friendly initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers.

“The Baby Friendly standards are designed to provide parents with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby and to feed their baby in ways which will support optimum health and development. These memories for mums do last forever and we have been able to maintain for a long period of time these excellent standards.

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“I’m beaming with pride from this huge collaborative effort. Our mothers can be rest assured that they are receiving the best standard possible out there across all our services.”

Deputy chief nurse Allison Luxon said: “I would like to thank our staff and the women who contributed in the assessment process.

“The best practice standards advocated by Unicef assist us in helping to provide the best possible start for babies with the Wigan borough in both their health and in developing relationships with their mothers.”

Earlier this year, mums rated the trust’s maternity care highly, according to the National Maternity Survey by the Care Quality Commission.

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