The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) National Unit is committed to ensuring the FNP service and our supporting systems and processes are quality and outcome focused. The FNP National Unit support local services to make rapid improvements through a robust supervision model, analysis of a live information system and learning from client feedback.

As a core value of the programme, the FNP National Unit leads the development of the clinical and implementation models for FNP and continually learn from the latest evidence, research and structured enquiry with service providers, practitioners and FNP clients to inform this programme of work.

Programme developments

Large scale studies such as the Building Blocks Trial carried out by Cardiff University will be used to develop and test ways of improving impact and cost effectiveness. Any adaptations required following the publication of this report will be tested in 2016/17.

Development projects undertaken by the National Unit are carried out in collaboration with local sites and informed by evidence, research and enquiry. Current and planned development projects include:

  • Improving smoking in pregnancy cessation rates
  • How best to work in partnership with specialist services (e.g. sexual health services)
  • Tailoring FNP service provision to the strengths and risks of individual clients
  • Evaluating FNP eligibility criteria.

The FNP National Unit will continue to generate considerable learning from implementing, scaling and rigorously evaluating FNP by working with others in the early intervention field to share this learning more widely to help shape improvements to service provision for vulnerable families.

Previous developments

The FNP National Unit has led a number of developments derived from learning from the FNP programme and practice.  This includes; Group FNP, PREview, Preparation for Birth and Beyond, and Leadership in the Healthy Child Programme.

The FNP National Unit will continue to explore how the learning from FNP can systematically shared beyond the FNP programme.

Group FNP

Group Family Nurse Partnership (Group FNP) is a variant of FNP that is currently being developed through collaboration between the University of Colorado and the FNP National Unit

The National Unit has been developing the Group FNP model since 2009, with three small-scale developing and testing phases, each of which has built on the learning of previous groups. A randomised control trial (RCT) is underway to understand whether, and how, Group FNP can contribute to improving maternal and child outcomes, particularly reducing child maltreatment.

Group FNP uses FNP resources, materials and its approach to provide a structured learning programme for groups of vulnerable women, incorporated with maternity care from early pregnancy until their child is one year old. It also responds to increasing interest and evidence in approaches such as 'Centering for Pregnancy' where women receive maternity care in a group alongside developing their knowledge and confidence about being a parent.

Using FNP as learning ground, there are now several different types of developments in addition to Group FNP including: PREview, Preparation for Birth and Beyond, and Leading the Healthy Child Programme.


PREview is a set of resources based on analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study that supports strategic prevention planning and prevention practice among clinicians. The resources, developed in collaboration with The Child and Maternal Health Intelligence Network at Public Health England, identify the factors around birth that are linked to outcomes for the child at five years, and offers FNP inspired resources to support work with families who can benefit from enhanced prevention intervention.

Preparation for Birth and Beyond

Preparation for Birth and Beyond is both a model approach and a set of resources for use with groups of new mothers and fathers that draws on current best practice, recent evidence of what works and parents’ preferences for receiving information and support.

Like FNP, topics are arranged in six themes, with linked learning resources and sources of information, prompts for the practitioner to think about the way adults prefer to learn and tips for planning and working with groups effectively.

Leading the Healthy Child Programme

The National Unit worked with the Health Visiting Early Implementer  sites to develop leadership capacity and capability for the Healthy Child Programme, through a small scale, in-depth approach, demonstrating how change can be embedded, gather pace and make a difference for children, parents and practitioners.