The family nurse partnership programme in Scotland has been extended to three new parts of the country, it has been announced.
The programme, which supports first-time parents under the age of 20, has been extended to Glasgow, Fife and Ayrshire and Arran. It was previously introduced in Lothian and Tayside around two and a half years ago.
Under the programme, family nurses visit expectant mothers every one or two weeks during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their baby’s life, offering guidance and support.
It is based on a similar programme in the US, which has proved successful in improving prenatal health and helping to reduce child neglect. The approach has also been adopted in England.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will recruit one supervisor and eight nurses to deliver the programme, which is expected to recruit 205 clients. Enrolment is likely to begin in October.
In NHS Ayrshire and Arran, one supervisor and six nurses will be recruited to deal with an expected 155 clients. Recruitment is expected to begin in February 2013.
The NHS Fife programme will see 105 clients served by one supervisor and four nurses, with enrolment starting in August this year.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Intervening at the earliest possible opportunity to support those in our society who are most in need is the key to improving Scotland’s health. That’s why I am delighted that even more children and their parents are going to benefit from this programme.”
The programme in NHS Lothian was taken up by 148 clients and is being delivered in the Edinburgh Community Health Partnership area by one supervisor and six nurses. The NHS Tayside programme has two supervisors and 12 nurses. It is expected to recruit 295 clients by end of July 2012.