A service providing specialist nurse-led support for vulnerable first-time mothers has been introduced in Lincolnshire.
The Family Nurse Partnership is now available to pregnant women in Boston, Skegness and coastal areas of Lincolnshire who are aged under 20.
It is the 100th site to adopt the free and voluntary programme, which sees specially-trained nurses making home visits from the early stages of pregnancy until the child reaches two years old.
The programme was first introduced in England in 2007 and is based on a US initiative called the Nurse-Family Partnership, which has been in place for 30 years.
The programme in Lincolnshire, rolled out since the end of July, is being led by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust. The team is supported by Queen’s Nurse and supervisor Jenny Harper.
Ms Harper said: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for LCHS to provide intensive support to young pregnant women. Through this programme, we hope to help them to achieve full potential for themselves and their child.
“Successful FNP programmes have found significant improvements have been made to the health and wellbeing of the whole family,” she said.
According to recent research, nurse home-visiting programmes for first-time young mothers from less-affluent backgrounds reduces mortality levels for both them and their infants. Researchers looked at the impact of the US version of the programme over a 20-year period, from 1990 to 2011.
A study commissioned by the Department of Health on the impact of the English version of the programme is expected to be published later this year.