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Young Mothers Programme Family Nurse Partnerships Expanded

8th December 2013

Children born to young mothers are to be given a healthier start to life thanks to the extension of a support programme.

The Family Nurse Partnership supports first time parents aged nineteen and under and already runs in seven health board areas.

From next year, the programme will begin in NHS Forth Valley and NHS Grampian and places on the programme in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde) and NHS Fife will be increased.

Developed in the University of Colorado, by Prof. David Olds, in the USA, expectant mums are visited by a specially trained nurse every one or two weeks during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their baby's life.

Nurses support mothers to make positive choices on areas such as child development, preventative health measures, parenting skills, breastfeeding, better diet information and on education and employment.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said,

Over the past few years, I have been lucky to meet many women and children who have enjoyed the benefits of one-to-one support and continued professional advice during those crucial early years.

Its important we are getting it right for every child. Through this programme the children I meet are healthier and happier through the positive choices made by parents. Thats why it is important that more families are going to be able to benefit from this programme

The assistance of these partnerships last beyond a generation and its hoped the good judgments parents make now will be taken on by their children when they start a family

Through planned programmes like Family Nurse Partnerships we can give all Scottish children the opportunity to experience Scotland as the best place to grow up. The Scottish NHS provides excellent services for parents and children but there is more we can do. Through powers to control all aspects of Scotlands future we can do much more improve the health of the nation.

The Scottish Government has pledged to increase places to 2,000 and have at least one team in each viable Health Board area by end of 2015. It has invested around 8.6 million in the programme since 2010.

Todays announcement will increase the 67 nurses and 8 supervisors already involved. The current capacity of 1,670 parents will also rise. Two more health boards, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders, are in discussion about bringing in the Family Nurse Partnership programme.

The expansion plans will be presented at the Family Nurse Partnership National Conference on Thursday 12th December 2013 in Edinburgh.

The average cost of the project is 3,000 per client, per year, with the programme lasting two-and-a-half years.

Originating in the US, the expansion follows research demonstrating that is being effectively delivered, remaining faithful to the original model, in Scotland. The programme is part of the Scottish Governments strategy to improve the lives of young people through evidence based programmes.

US research shows that it is improving prenatal health, increasing young mothers uptake of employment, resulting in better planning of future pregnancies and helping to reduce child neglect. A research strategy is being developed to evaluate the programme across Scotland

The programme is the brainchild of Prof David Olds, Professor of Paediatrics and Director, Prevention Research Centre for Family and Child Health, University of Colorado.

Health Boards already Implementing Family Nurse Partnerships:

NHS Lothian
NHS Tayside
NHS Fife
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (Glasgow City, East and West Dunbartonshire)
NHS Ayrshire and Arran
NHS Highland
NHS Lanarkshire

To read more about the Family nurse Partnership go to
http://www.maternal-and-early-years.org.uk/the-family-nurse-partnership

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