Early Intervention Foundation report highlights FNP evidence

Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is one of a handful of early years programmes to be awarded a 4+ evidence rating in the latest Early Intervention Foundation ‘what works’ report.

Foundations for Life: What Works to Support Parent and Child Interaction in the Early Years assesses the evidence for 75 programmes across 3 key outcomes.  A 4+ rating is awarded to programmes which have evidence “from at least two high-quality evaluations (RCT/QED) demonstrating a consistently positive impact across populations and environments … [including] a long term child outcome lasting a year or longer.”  

In its chapter on FNP, the report outlines key findings from RCT trials in the US and the Netherlands, and the recent Building Blocks trial in England.  It also includes cost and delivery information to support commissioning decisions.

Ailsa Swarbrick, Director of the FNP National Unit, commented:

“The Early Intervention Foundation’s work to provide an independent review of evaluation evidence helps support providers, commissioners and policy-makers alike. 

“At a time of constrained budgets, it helps us all to hold ourselves to account for the quality of what we do to stop problems becoming entrenched – and more costly in the longer term – through delivering robust, high quality and well implemented early interventions. 

The report highlights ‘improve, not prove’ as a guiding principle for evaluation.  This reflects the FNP National Unit’s approach to the FNP Next Steps programme, a cycle of adaptation and testing which builds on learning from the Building Blocks trial.

FNP Next Steps will seek to strengthen outcomes, increase cost effectiveness, ensure greater flexibility and share learning with other services through a series of innovations and improvements to the FNP programme in England. 

Foundations for Life points out that ‘programme providers should never rest on [their] laurels’ and we couldn’t agree more.  Continuous improvement is certainly built into the DNA of Family Nurse Partnership – from the rigorous data capture at client level and quality improvement  indicators for local commissioners, to ongoing programme-wide work on achieving outcomes through FNP Next Steps.”