Midwifery programmes receive top marks in Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Unicef UK Baby Friendly

Oxford Brookes University has been commended for its "outstanding programme of study" in a recent assessment of Unicef UK Baby Friendly standards.

The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization and Unicef first introduced in 1992 to encourage maternity hospitals to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and to practice in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  

The Initiative subsequently extended the principles to include community health care services and university programmes for midwifery, health visiting and public health nursing.

Oxford Brookes first achieved accreditation back in 2011. Re-assessment is carried out every three years, and after re-accreditation in 2014, the latest assessment was carried out in May this year across the University’s MSc and BSc Midwifery degree programmes and MSc and BSc for Registered Nurses.

Stage 2 of the review saw a sample of students from the programmes assessed on their knowledge and skills across five themes, including enabling mothers to breastfeed and being able to manage the challenges.

We are incredibly proud to have achieved re-accreditation for the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative. To have done so with such success is a testament not only to the excellent, evidence-based teaching we provide but our well-prepared, competent and confident students, something that was highlighted in the re-assessment report.

Sarah Snow, Programme Lead for Midwifery at Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes achieved 100 per cent across all five themes, the first university to do so.

Sarah Snow, Programme Lead for Midwifery at Oxford Brookes University said: “We are incredibly proud to have achieved re-accreditation for the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative.  To have done so with such success is a testament not only to the excellent, evidence-based teaching we provide but our well-prepared, competent and confident students, something that was highlighted in the re-assessment report.”

In the report the University was also praised for its “positive approach to implementing the Baby Friendly learning outcomes” and for its enthusiasm and commitment.

The report said: “"The team at Oxford Brookes continue to deliver an outstanding programme of study which is responsive to a changing environment and to new ideas; they should be commended for their commitment to sustaining the Unicef UK Baby Friendly standards at such a high level."

In 2012, following a comprehensive review, the Baby Friendly standards were updated to include parent infant relationship building and very early child development, plus enhanced requirements in communication skills for staff.

More information about the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative can be found on their website.