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Children: Health Services

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families where the Nurse Family partnership pilots are taking place; which programmes of this type Ministers have visited in the US; when the pilots will start and when they are planned to end; what estimate he has made of the cost of the pilots; when the (a) first and (b) final evaluation of the pilots will be made; how longer term outcomes from the pilot will be assessed; how many families he estimates will be involved in the pilots; and what additional training and recruitment of health visitors is taking place as part of the pilots. (177197)

We are piloting the Family Nurse Partnership (called “Nurse-Family Partnership” in the US) on 10 sites in England—Barnsley, Derby City, County Durham and Darlington, Manchester, Slough, Somerset, Southend, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Walsall.

From 4 to 11 December 2006, the then Cabinet Office Ministers, Hilary Armstrong MP and Pat McFadden MP, visited the Prevention Research Centre, Denver, Colorado, to learn about the Nurse-Family Partnership and similar initiatives.

The 10 Family Nurse Partnership Pilot sites began operating from March 2007 and will run as Pilot sites until 31 March 2009.

A budget of £7 million was allocated across 2006-07 and 2007-08 to support and deliver the pilot project. From this sum, direct allocations to sites totalled £248,395 in 2006-07 and £3,171,342 in 2007-08.

An interim evaluation report of the Pilot Project’s first year will be published this spring. The final evaluation report of the Pilot is expected to be available in spring 2009, although evaluation of the second year of the pilot has not yet been commissioned.

From 2008-09 to 2010-11 the Government will be implementing a research study to assess longer term impacts of the pilot programme.

The 10 pilot sites were required to recruit a total of 1,025 families within the first eight months of operation. Over the two years of the Pilot Project a larger number of families are likely to receive services for all or part of the pilot period, as some families leave and new ones are recruited in their place. Therefore, it is not possible to estimate the total number of families who will be involved in the Pilot Project.

Practitioners delivering the programme are trained in use of the Family Nurse Partnership materials and the theory of the intervention. In addition, they are being provided with training in developing therapeutic relationships and motivational interviewing. The total number of practitioners delivering the Family Nurse Partnership (family nurses and supervisors) is 57. There has been no additional recruitment of health visitors to support delivery of the Pilot Project.