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US style nurse-family partnership brought to Scotland

NHS Lothian is experimenting with the US-style “nurse-family partnership” to help guide vulnerable teenage mothers through their pregnancy and first two years of motherhood.

The Scotsman reports that the scheme is due to start early next year and six nurses will start training for the project in November. The pilot scheme will cost £500,000 and will involve 100 mothers.

NHS Lothian’s nurse director Melanie Hornett said: “I want to replicate what works in the States. It is a great opportunity to see how we can move forward in community care.”

The NHS in England has already begun introducing its own version of the service model, re-badged as the Family Nurse Partnership.

The government made a commitment to trial the model as part of the Social Exclusion Action Plan in September 2006. The programme was initially piloted at ten sites: Slough; Somerset; Tower Hamlets; Southwark; Southend; Derby; Barnsley; County Durham; Walsall and Manchester.

After succesful results, a further £30m was invested to extend the scheme to a further 20 sites in March 2008.

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