Building trust, understanding and shared aspirations - working hand in glove with our commissioner

Daisy Townson, Supervisor, FNP Hounslow  

Building trust, understanding and shared aspirations - working hand in glove with our commissioner

FNP has been delivered in Hounslow since 2012. During this time we have had the benefit of two supportive, empathic children’s commissioners, both with a passion for making a real, lifelong difference to the lives of young families.

Much like the relationship between family nurse and client (and client and baby!), the relationship between FNP team and commissioner takes time to build trust, understanding and shared aspirations. This was supported early on by the commissioner attending home visits; helping her understand the work we do and the complexity of the families we are working with has been integral to the continuation of FNP as part of the public health children’s services core offer.

More recently, our commissioner has attended the Knowledge and Skills Exchange (KSE) workshops and continues to demonstrate support of our work, both with families and within the wider system. She also chairs the FNP Advisory Board and Annual Review meetings, at which we focus on select themes that represent local issues and agendas. Having a client voice at all these meetings (through case study presentations, films or client stories) helps to acknowledge that not all outcomes can be neatly measured and has re-shaped the focus locally on impact rather than just measureable outcomes.

Other services benefit from FNP locally: for example, FNP kick-started the implementation of the HENRY (Health, Exercise Nutrition for the Really Young) programme by family nurses being trained to deliver the HENRY course, and one family nurse being the local HENRY co-ordinator before handing over to a children’s centre practitioner. We are also a Building Blocks Referral Partner,  helping our families to access resources that support the home learning environment. We have also collaborated with local childrens' centres to help establish further two young parent Stay & Play groups.

The learning of FNP continues to be integrated into other local services. This is achieved through delivery of the KSE workshops (enabling us to share FNP learning across the children’s workforce), and also through FNP trained staff moving on into other roles within the 0-19 service (for example, the 0-19 manager is a trained FNP nurse who is able to ‘borrow’ the FNP approach for the benefit of the health visiting and school nursing teams).

We are very fortunate in Hounslow to be able to offer FNP or MECSH to families; this demonstrates the local commitment to improving Hounslow lives (and there is plenty of work for everybody!).  We are in the process of developing a Family Nurse Partnership and Vulnerable Families Pathway, so that families get support from those families’ services which benefit them the most.

Our local reputation continues to build and our Hounslow FNP team continues to be a highly regarded local resource. Here’s what others have been saying:

“I have really enjoyed working with you and your team. FNP is such a valuable resource for young parents to have access to, so long may it last!”

                                               MF | Assist. Director Children's Safeguarding Services (2019)

“We place an immense amount of value in working in collaboration with the Family Nurse Partnership in Hounslow.  The programme enables the young parents of Hounslow to gain invaluable knowledge, skills and support as they enter into their parenting journey.  The feedback that we hear about the service and the nurses themselves from young parents is always overwhelmingly positive.  As are all of my experiences working with Hounslow FNP over the years.  We truly believe that the way that our two services work in close partnership with each other enables us to provide safe, compassionate, responsive and effective care that really ought to be the blueprint for many other services in the health service.”

                                                AS | YMAG team leader, West Middlesex Hospital (2019)

“Thank you to you and your team for meeting with me last week. Your team demonstrated the purpose that FNP was established to achieve; better, more sustained outcomes for young parents and their children who would, without the support of your service, struggle from the outset. The mums and children I met are an impressive testament to what you have achieved.”

                                                 KO | Director of Public Health (2019)

Learn more about KSE work by FNP Hounslow by watching this short video. As a FNP-owned initiative, Knowledge and Skills Exchange is delivered through local FNP sites across England.