THE Somerset Health Visitor service has been awarded the World Health Organisation and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund’s ‘Baby Friendly Award (Stage II)’.

The accolade goes to services demonstrating the highest professional standards set out by the organisations’ Baby Friendly Initiative.

To achieve ‘Stage II’ accreditation, local health visitors had to show that they were implementing UNICEF’s ‘seven-point plan’ for sustaining breastfeeding mothers in the community.

Louise Stickland, infant feeding specialist with the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s an important accolade for our services, and one which we hope will give mothers extra reassurance that their health visitors are all meeting the highest standards of professional practice and service quality.

“We’re now working to achieve the third and final accreditation stage of the initiative.”