NHS Fife’s Maternity Service has once again received a gold standard accolade from UNICEF.
It has been reaccredited with a Gold Award as part of the Baby Friendly Initiative.
The programme supports and encourages mothers to breastfeed.
NHS Fife Director of Nursing, Janette Owens, said: “We’re delighted UNICEF have again seen fit to award gold accreditation to NHS Fife’s Maternity Service.
“Retaining our gold status is a source of great pride to everyone involved.
Hard work by staff
“It helps recognise the years of hard work by our staff in ensuring our maternity services are both as accessible as possible, and provide families with the support they need to make informed choices about feeding their infant.”
Support for fathers to stay with their partner and baby in the postnatal ward to avoid separation of the family unit was also highlighted.
First in Scotland
The Maternity Service was also the first in Scotland to achieve the award in 2019.
The prestigious accolade recognised the gold standard level of knowledge and commitment shown by staff in promoting breastfeeding, and bringing mothers and babies closer through the feeding experience.
Gold-accredited services are required to undergo a formal revalidation process one year following gold accreditation and every three years thereafter.
NHS Fife’s Maternity Service will retain gold status until at least July 2023.
Jannette added: “Becoming the first Health Board in Scotland to achieve gold accreditation was a tremendous accolade.
“Becoming the first Board to retain the accreditation is equally satisfying.
“Hopefully this will help give new and expectant parents across Fife the confidence they will be supported throughout every stage of their pregnancy, and indeed beyond.”
Maternity services are available throughout Fife, with inpatient services at the NHS Fife Maternity unit in the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
Specialised outpatient services are delivered at the Victoria Hospital and at Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline.
Neonatal services in Fife are also Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative accredited in recognition of supporting close and loving relationships, maximising the use of breast milk and including parents as partners in care.