Trust welcomes Health Minister to view Family Nurse Partnership Project

16/11/2011

Trust welcomes Health Minister to view Family Nurse Partnership Project

The Health Minister today came face to face with some of the mums and their babies being supported by a new initiative being piloted in the Western Health and Social Care Trust aimed at young vulnerable parents.

The Family Nurse Partnership programme is a specific intensive preventive licensed programme for vulnerable, first time young parents that begins in early pregnancy and ends when the child reaches two years of age.  The Minister met the new mums and their nurses at Altnagelvin Hospital during a round of engagements in Londonderry.

The Minister said “This programme aims to break a cycle of deprivation and its consequences and it’s wonderful that we are able to give some young mums and their new babies the best possible start inFamily Nurse Partnership 2 life. 

“It is great to meet with those involved with this pilot site - the nurses and new mums are very enthusiastic about the programme. The benefits of the Partnership are clear to see and I am convinced that this investment will reap dividends in the years to come.”

The Western Health and Social Care Trust and the Public Health Agency introduced The Family Nurse Partnership across the Western Trust area in October 2010. The aim of the programme is to help develop mental health and wellbeing in childhood by giving young mothers extra help in the vital first few years of their children’s lives.

Western Trust Chairman Gerard Guckian said: "We are delighted to welcome Health Minister Edwin Poots to see how the Western Trust's Family Nurse Partnership programme is making a positive impact on the lives of young parents and their families. This is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and we are encouraged by the success of the programme.”

Family Nurse Partnership 4Kate McDaid, Western Trust Assistant Director Women and Children’s Services, added: “The Family Nurse Partnership programme provides support from early pregnancy until the child is two years old. Parents are offered intensive and structured home visiting, delivered by specially trained family nurses. These nurses provide nurturing help and advice during a major period of change for these young families. In doing so the programme hopes to bring about benefits such as readiness for school, improved educational achievement and a reduction in anti social behaviours.”

Mary Hinds, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, PHA said: “I am delighted to highlight the ongoing success of the first Family Nurse Partnership programme in Northern Ireland. The aim of the Family Nurse Partnership is to help develop positive mental health and wellbeing in childhood by helping young mothers in the vital first few years of their children’s life. So far it has been warmly received with 74 young women receiving the service. The family nurses provide personal, one-to-one support and advice that encourages best practice methods for healthy lifestyles which will benefit both parents and baby. Parents can be relaxed knowing, that with the help, support and guidance from the family nurses they are better equipped for daily life and feel positive that their child is being given the best care.”