Health Ministers Mark Maternity Awards

MPs Ann Keen and Gillian Merron vist West Mid to congratulate staff

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(l-r) Ann Keen MP, Jackie Mallard, Marina Wingham, Pippa Nightingale and Gillian Merron-Minister for Public Health

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After becoming the first hospital in London to achieve the UNICEF Baby Friendly Stage 2 award for breastfeeding, West Mid welcomed two special guests this week who came to give their congratulations personally.

Local MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health Services, Ann Keen, invited Minister for Public Health, Gillian Merron, to view the unit and pass on her congratulations to the team as Gillian is a supporter of breastfeeding which comes under her public health remit.

The maternity unit at West Mid has recently collected a trio of awards. As well as the Baby Friendly initiative, the unit was the first in the UK to receive Level 3 against the new standard of patient safety (the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts) and retained the Charter Mark for the 13th consecutive year, for excellence in public service.

As well as meeting some mums and babies the ministers were given a tour around the Natural Birth Centre by Consultant Midwife, Pippa Nightingale, who was seen in December mentoring Richmond resident and Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden in a documentary on ITV. They also met Risk Management Midwife Jackie Mallard and Matron Marina Wingham.

Commenting on the unit, Gillian said, “I have never seen anything like it. It is very impressive and it is clear that there is total focus on babies, mums and families.”

Ann Keen added on the UNICEF award, “It shows that the quality of care is second to none here.”

Gillian finished with, “It is clear the quality is exceptional here with so many national and international awards. You couldn’t have a better start in life!”

The maternity unit are now planning to work towards UNICEF level 3 accreditation next year. This assesses the care and information provided to pregnant women and new mothers. This will be the final stage in achieving full accreditation as a Baby Friendly hospital.

March 30, 2010