Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has received a prestigious maternity care award.

Epsom and St Helier received a UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Award, making it one of four hospitals in England to have won the accolade.

The Trust is also the first in London to have won the prestigious award for their standards of care for mums and their babies.

Arlene Wellman, chief nurse at Epsom and St Helier, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our hospitals and I am so proud of our maternity service team who have worked so hard to get this.

“The award reflects our long-standing commitment to supporting mothers to breastfeed and to help all parents build a close and loving relationship with their baby, irrespective of feeding method.

The award forms part of the Baby Friendly Initiative, a programme set up by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation to encourage excellence in maternity care.

The programme sets standards for health professionals to follow and has an assessment and accreditation scheme to support the implementation of the standards.

In the UK, the Baby Friendly Initiative also helps protect, promote and support breastfeeding, safe bottle feeding and mother-baby relationships