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Bradford neonatal unit receives prestigious funding boost

Bradford Hospitals’ neonatal unit has received prestigious Burdett Trust funding to support its work in attaining ‘Baby Friendly’ accreditation from UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund.)

The unit based at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is one of only a handful of units nationally to become a recipient of the financial and training grant.

Altogether 69 units from across the country applied, 13 took part in the rigorous interview stage and just six units were successful.

Picture:  Lorne Campbell  / Guzelian Rebecca-Violet Fleetwood (5 weeks old) enjoys a sleep in the new £2 million neonatal unit which opened today at Bradford Royal Infirmary , Bradford, West Yorkshire.  The unit  cares for more than 500 babies from across Yorkshire and the Humber , and further afield every year. Her twin, Abigail-Rose, is also being treated in the unit. The twins, from Huddersfield, were born 14 weeks early. Pictured looking on is their mother, Lyndsey. PICTURE TAKEN ON THURSDAY 15 JANUARY 2015
Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian
Rebecca-Violet Fleetwood (5 weeks old) enjoys a sleep in the new £2 million neonatal unit which opened  at Bradford Royal Infirmary

The assessors said of the Bradford team: “It was great to see all the hard work you’re putting in to ensuring good outcomes for vulnerable babies in your unit. We were really impressed by the quality of your application and interview and think the Burdett funds will be put to excellent use in your unit.”

BRI’s maternity unit obtained ‘Baby Friendly’ status more than a decade ago, but neonatal units are now assessed for stand-alone accreditation.

The Burdett Trust grant provides the unit with financial support, teaching materials, places on ‘Baby Friendly’ conferences, courses and ongoing telephone support towards accreditation. It’s anticipated that it will take at least a year before the team are fully accredited.

Consultant Neonatologist, Roopali Soni, said: “This is a big achievement for us and great motivation for working towards Baby Friendly accreditation. There is only one other neonatal unit currently accredited in the country, and I would hope that we are not far behind!”

Breastfeeding Co-ordinator, Janette Westman, added: “For mothers being cared for in a ‘Baby Friendly’ unit, it means that they will receive care which is evidence-based and which ensures that everybody is working to best practice standards.”

The success comes as a result of real team effort which, alongside Roopali and Janette, includes Outreach Midwife, Anne Seekins – who presented the case at UNICEF – Neonatal and Paediatric Dietitian, Amanda Musk and Neonatal Breast Feeding Support Worker, Chloe Dawson.

The five have been working as a ‘breast-feeding support group’ for the last 12 months and have made great progress in improving the support and advice provided to new mums.

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