Vulnerable Baby Service (VBS)

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The service facilitates a safeguarding approach for families identified of being at risk of unexplained death of infants.

The VBS was set up in 2004 to tackle infant mortality in Manchester, in particular sudden unexplained death of infants (SUDI). The VBS also plays a public health role in preventative practices; leading on safe sleeping policies across the city and strategically informing practice to improve outcomes for infants.

We facilitate Case Planning including information gathering and analysis, arrangement, administration and chairing.

We provide Public Health education to staff and Social Marketing on cot death reduction of risk.


Safeguarding Children Team, Children’s Community Services, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Hospitals, Rusholme Health Centre, Walmer Street, Manchester. M14 5NB


Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 4.30 pm

Contact Details:

Tel: 0161 861 2258 Fax: 0161 248 4811


Ethna Dillon, Head of Service

Heather Keeley, Specialist Midwife

Sheila Self, Project Assistant


Staff refer on Early Help Assessment Form or Multi agency referral and assessment form and emailed to or  fax 0161 248 4811

Additional Information:

The Lullaby Trust:

UNICEF: The Baby Friendly Initiative

Manchester City Council

NHS Choices

End the fear

Manchester domestic violence helpline: 0161 636 7525 or 0161 273 4366

Awards / Recognitions:

North West How-do Public Sector Communication Awards ‘Best Local Community Initiative’ (November 2009)

Nov 2009 –  Gold for Best Community Relations

Silver for Best Campaign 10k and under

Silver for Best Public Sector Category

Fresh PR, won freshest campaign for Community Relations (March 2010)

National Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Bronze Award in Best of Health (July 2010)

The service is the first of its kind and we have presented at an international conference on SUDI and have interest from local and national organisations

The model of specialist case planning has been replicated by the local authority.