Family Nurse Partnership celebrates first graduation ceremony

Sing-along songs and children’s games will be the order of the day at the first graduation ceremony of the Family Nurse Partnership programme (Wednesday 26 September).

Around 40 families and Family Nurse Partnership staff will be joined by Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing at a special ceremony to mark the first graduates through the programme.

The children and their families will sing songs and take part in games before being presented with gold medals and graduation certificates.

The innovative service, which launched as a pilot in Lothian in 2010, has seen more than 148 families and has since been rolled out across Scotland.

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, said, “I’m absolutely delighted to be involved in this celebration.  Investing in young parents and children is high on the Scottish Government’s agenda and we want to give every child in Scotland the best possible start.  I can see for myself what a difference this programme can make to young lives and I will continue to champion worthy investments, such as the Family Nurse Partnership, that really do make a difference.”

The Family Nurse Partnership programme offers an early intervention service starting in early pregnancy and designed to support first-time teenage mothers over the first two years after birth.

Val Alexander, Family Nurse Partnership Supervisor, NHS Lothian, said:  “We have seen so many positive stories over the first two years of the Family Nurse Partnership and it’s great to see so many families graduating through the service today.

“The programme relies on the development of a strong therapeutic relationship between our nurse and the client. Visits are structured, and cover personal health, environmental health, life course development, maternal role, family and friends and health and human resource services.”

Melanie Hornett, Director of Nursing, NHS Lothian, said:  “I am delighted to see the first clients graduating through the programme. The service is all about helping to build on the strengths of young mums and dads encouraging them to focus on their own wellbeing and that of their child.

“Providing help early on gives them the best possible start in terms of improved healthcare and child development and I would like to congratulate the whole Family Nurse Partnership team on this first graduation.”

Notes to Editors

  • The intention to bring the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) to Scotland was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to a clinic in Harlem, New York in April 2009.  The Health Secretary launched the FNP in Scotland in 2010. NHS Lothian was chosen as the first test site for the programme in Scotland.
  • The Family Nurse Partnership is targeted at first time mothers aged 19 and under having their first baby.
  • Family Nurse Partnerships offer guidance on breastfeeding, child development, parenting skills, future pregnancy planning, preventive health measures such as help with alcohol or cigarette dependency, better diet information, advice on better financial planning and advice for mothers wanting to go back to education or employment.
  • The Scottish Government extended the programme to NHS Tayside in 2011, to NHS Fife, Glasgow and Ayrshire and Arran in 2012 and recently announced it is rolling the programme out to NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Highland in 2013.

Issued on: 26 September 2012
David Ridd
Communications Officer
NHS Lothian
0131 465 5648