Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been granted UNICEF UK's Baby Friendly award for its dedication to increasing breast feeding rates and improving baby and maternal healthcare.

UNICEF UK's Baby Friendly Initiative aims to support families with breastfeeding, responding to barriers that cause women to halt breastfeeding, and supporting the development of close and loving relationships between mother and baby regardless of feeding methods.

The award recognises trusts that demonstrate best practice standards.

Claire Stringer, infant feeding co-ordinator, said: "This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire maternity team for ensuring the highest level of care is given to our families."

"The impact of this award is already evident in our breastfeeding rates and the positive feedback given by families when interviewed by the assessors."

Katy Lissaman, head of midwifery, said: "The maternity team has worked hard to achieve this award and will continue to deliver these best practice standards to our service user families."