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Evaluation of The Family Nurse Partnership Programme in NHS Lothian, Scotland

3rd Report – Infancy

Mother and baby
Published: December 2012


To focus on learning from the delivery of Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme in NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, in the infancy phase (specifically, the period from when clients’ babies were six weeks old to their first birthdays).


Widespread support for the FNP programme

Both family nurses and clients in NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, believe the FNP programme can help young mothers to:

  • develop skills as competent, confident parents;
  • engage in activities to support attachment with their child;
  • delay weaning;
  • assess their home for safety from the perspective of their child, and access practical home safety equipment;
  • become more physically active;
  • access contraception when they might not otherwise have pursued this;
  • feel better supported in relation to their own mental and emotional health and well-being;
  • link with appropriate community support to help them feel less isolated;
  • resolve or manage relationship conflicts;
  • navigate and access housing and benefit services and grants;
  • broaden the options they consider around education or work, formulate goals and overcome barriers.

Nurse-client relationship key factor to success

Both family nurses and clients identify the therapeutic relationships nurses develop with clients as key to supporting both delivery of, and client engagement with, the programme.

Family nurses described the Partners in Parenting Education (PIPE) and DANCE tools as particularly valuable in supporting delivery of content around parenting and parent-child interactions during infancy.

Supervision continued to be viewed as ‘invaluable’ in supporting family nurses to deliver FNP: “You couldn’t do it without supervision or the level of supervision,” one nurse said.

Managing workload the key challenge to delivery

Managing workload to deliver scheduled visits and meet other requirements of the job remained a key challenge for the family nurse team in NHS Lothian. The team also noted that fitting in ‘missed’ visits could be particularly challenging during infancy.


  • Quantitative data collected for all FNP clients
  • Qualitative interviews with the initial NHS Lothian, Edinburgh FNP team, the FNP National Lead for Scotland, a sub-sample of FNP clients, and local stakeholders from midwifery, general practice and social work.

Read the first report

Read the second report

Read the third report