A BRADFORD neonatal team has been awarded a UK first for its work.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, based at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI), part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has become the first intensive care unit (level 3) in the UK to achieve the ‘Baby Friendly Initiative’ accreditation, set up by children’s charity Unicef and the World Health Organisation.

The ‘Baby Friendly Initiative’ is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for mothers and babies and to help them build close and loving relationships with their baby.

Sunita Seal, Consultant Neonatologist and Clinical Lead, said: “This prestigious award is testimony to all staff who work tirelessly on the unit to provide such high quality care to parents and their babies.

“Accreditation is based on a set of interlinking evidence-based standards, and the accreditation programme is recognised and recommended in numerous government and policy documents across the UK, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance. It is a nationally recognised mark of quality care for babies and mothers.”

To meet the standards, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was judged against a set of criteria focusing on parent’s experiences of neonatal services at BRI during a visit by ‘Baby Friendly’ assessors in December 2017.

The achievement comes in addition to the full Unicef UK Baby Friendly accreditation achieved by the hospital’s Women’s and Newborn unit in 2014.