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Gold standard Health Visiting service for families in Leeds

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s (LCH) Health Visiting Service, part of the 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service (PHINS), has been re-awarded gold status by Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) for the care it provides to families across Leeds. 

BFI and Baby Bubble eventWorking in partnership with Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) and third sector organisations, this is the fourth year that the service has been awarded gold status. Only 67% of Health Visiting services have full Baby Friendly Accreditation and 0-19 PHINS are proud to be one of the 23% of Health Visiting services in the UK to have achieved this status.

The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) standards are designed to support infant feeding practice, as well as parent and infant relationships. BFI supports parents to have close and loving relationships with their baby and feed their baby in ways which will support optimum health and development.

0-19 PHINS is an innovative service that provides a wide range of support to families across Leeds. Their latest offer is Baby Bubble Leeds, a closed Facebook group offering support to families throughout their pregnancy up until six months after their baby is born. 0-19 PHINS and LTHT Midwifery Service are working together to provide dedicated support and advice on all questions baby related. Work has been done with 100% Digital and The Do Good Foundation to make Baby Bubble digitally inclusive for everyone, including help with setting up an email account, how to use Facebook and providing free data sim cards. Dads and partners can access support through Dads Matters who aim to help them to build successful relationships with their families, and offer anxiety, stress, and mental health support.

Nigel Hodgkins, Head of the 0-19 PHINS, said: “We are so proud to have achieved BFI Gold reaccreditation.  It is testament not only to the hard work, care and commitment of all of our breastfeeding leads and practitioners but also to the families we visit every day. It is also recognition of our wonderful partnerships across the city – the breastfeeding peer groups, Childrens Centres and many others that are committed to infant development and with whom we make a difference day in, day out.”

A Pop-Up Event for families to celebrate the revalidation of the BFI Gold Award was held at Temple Newsam on Tuesday 27 June. Families were given free entry to Temple Newsam House and as a Breastfeeding Friendly venue, families were welcome to feed their babies wherever they felt most comfortable. As part of the event 0-19 PHINS were on hand to answer any questions related to Baby Bubble Leeds, breastfeeding and all aspects of parenting such as toilet training, behaviour, weaning and sleep.

New Mum, Emily who has been supported by 0-19 PHINS said “They helped me from the very beginning of my pregnancy through to breastfeeding which I struggled with, when baby was teething and weaning and still to now. They have so much advice and are so helpful, you can ask them anything. As a new mum if I ever feel worried or have a question it’s nice to know that there is someone there who can support me, and put my mind at ease.”

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