In 2020, Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) - now NHS Surrey Heartlands - commissioned Best Beginnings to work with them to make the ICS the first Baby Buddy 2.0 Trailblazer site in the UK. Funding for the programme of work was agreed to take place in two phases over two years. Phase 1 was focused on research, engagement and planning with Phase 2 focussed on delivery of services and promotion of the app to reach parents and families across Surrey Heartlands.  

The intention was to fully embed Baby Buddy 2.0 into antenatal and postnatal care pathways in order to: 

  • Improve access to quality information for parents from early in pregnancy up to the end of the first year after birth. 
  • Improve parents’ experiences of pregnancy and parenthood during their baby’s first year by providing parents with emotional support and signposting to resources and services to enhance their social support networks. 
  • Contribute towards improved maternal and neonatal health outcomes, by both motivating and empowering families to safeguard and enhance their own health and wellbeing and by ensuring they know when and where to turn for support, advice and care when needed. 
  • Recognise the pressures that Healthcare Professionals face in managing their caseloads and work with them to find creative solutions to easing their workload while enhancing the quality of services provided. 

The project has been a resounding success where within 12 months of delivering the project, Baby Buddy has now reached 4120 parents and currently reaching over 40% of the birth cohort using Baby Buddy in Reigate and Banstead and Waverley. On average, over the 12 months, Baby Buddy app registrations increased by 3.5 times and are on a projected increasing trend. 

Following the embedding project activities, there has been a 31% increase in the overall birth cohort using the Baby Buddy app across Surrey Heartlands. 

100% of the parents reported that the Baby Buddy app is helping them to learn and feel more prepared for being a parent. Furthermore, 97% of the Healthcare Professionals said they felt confident about recommending the Baby Buddy app to parents they work with after training. 

To read the full impact report please click here 

To read the research report that preceded the localisation work, please click here