Megan Wordsworth, Family Nurse, Tower Hamlets
The Tower Hamlets FNP team is a mixture of long-serving and newer family nurses. When we joined the FNP ADAPT project in 2018, it was clear that those nurses with 10+ years’ experience felt more confident about making changes, partly because they knew the programme inside out. They knew intuitively that the programme could be better serving clients: that some clients who were doing well might not need the same frequency of visits as others, for example. This meant that they recognised the value in being able to personalise FNP for clients. This helped those of us with less experience of delivering the programme feel confident that change – though hard – would be beneficial.
We felt the ability dial down clients who are doing well would enable us to better engage clients who might otherwise leave the programme and be counted as ‘attrition’. Most of our clients are very vulnerable and the ability to dial down a client who is doing well also creates time to focus more intensively on those with the highest levels of need.
The New Mum Star has been a really helpful tool, not only for clients but also for work with other professionals. I have shared New Mum Star reviews with social workers to demonstrate what a client has achieved. It’s a helpful record in that respect. Clients themselves often love looking back at previous New Mum Stars reviews. It shows them how far they’ve come. Or it sometimes reveals that the same things are still difficult and that can be a challenge to work with. Sometimes you do hit a brick wall with clients and this is where supervision and the psychological consultancy family nurses have regularly are so helpful.
The process of change has been challenging and it’s still a work in progress, but we have felt well-equipped for it because of the training and regular communications updates provided by the FNP National Unit. It feels great to be part of an evidence-based programme that is always evolving to fit the needs of the clients.