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Nursing partnership programme praised

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Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has met the first babies born under a pioneering new nursing project to help teenage parents.

The Family Nurse Partnership Programme supports first-time parents under the age of 19 and is being trialled in the NHS Lothian area.

The scheme will see seven family nurses will visit pregnant women once or twice a fortnight during their pregnancy and for the first two years of the infant’s life.

They offer guidance on child development, parenting skills, breastfeeding, preventative health schemes, diet information and advice for mothers on education and employment.

A total of 55 babies have so far been born to the 131 families currently taking part in the project.

Ms Sturgeon said the “inspirational” scheme would help improve the long-term picture of public health in Scotland. “I know from speaking to the parents involved that they are forming really strong bonds with the nurses from the project, which is giving them the support and help they need to make the right choices for their children,” she said.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Why focus limited resources on such a small sample of the population? Any health visitor can identify excellent teenage parents on their caselod, equally there are large numbers of vulnerable older mothers who would benefit from the additional support and resources provided through the scheme. As parents can choose whether or not to be involved in the programme, those who agree to take part are likely to be the motivated individuals who would otherwise utilise available services. It makes much better sense to invest in health visitor training so that we can use our skills to identify, and support, all vulnerable families not just the chosen few

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  • Why do we persist in putting vast amounts of money into this project when it takes staff off the "ground floor" of Health Visitin. We are now putting money that would be better served in following Unniversal visits (which are rarely carried out due to the large caseloads Health Visitors now have) into something that used to be called "First Parenting"?? There are so few Health Visitors now that we are slowly losing the role and becoming Social Workers by default!! I for one did not come into this profession to be a social worker!! My expertise is in child development and many other areas. We will gradually lose all our good Health Visitors due to the stress of dealing with Child Protection on a daily basis. This is NOT upstream in any shape or form

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