A BABY unit at a Shropshire hospital trust has been awarded a prestigious accreditation by a globally-renowned group.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital’s NHS Trust (SaTH) Neonatal Unit has achieved the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative stage one accreditation.

The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) was first launched in 1994 by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation to support breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships by improving standards of care.

It was later extended to neonatal units in 2012.

UNICEF assess the skills and knowledge of health professionals and interview families to hear about their experiences of care.

Sam Petridis, baby friendly lead nurse and neonatal sister, said the award is just the start of a long journey to improvising care at the Trust.

“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," Sam said.

“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.

“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.”

SaTH's Neonatal Unit is now working towards the second stage out of three, which will focus on educating staff to implement BFI standards.