PERFORMANCE: The infant feeding service in West Sussex has launched a programme to achieve UNICEF baby friendly accreditation.

The service operates under the name of MILK! To achieve UNICEF baby friendly accreditation, it will undergo a rigorous assessment process over a number of years through which it will have to provide assurance that it delivers the very highest standards of care.

MILK! works via a network of drop-in centres across West Sussex where mothers can get information and support in a friendly, relaxed environment. The drop-ins are managed by a local health visitor team with the peer supporters.

MILK! launched its baby friendly implementation programme at a meeting with UNICEF this week at the Wickbourne centre in Littlehampton.

The next step is to apply for a Certificate of Commitment to confirm that the service has a comprehensive approach covering all appropriate standards, policies and guidelines to support the baby friendly standard and that all new staff are orientated to the policy.

Trust chair Sue Sjuve said: “Our MILK! team and health visiting services in West Sussex are already doing a top-class job, but we want to get better still and be able to demonstrate to our communities that our services rank alongside the best.”