Building Blocks Study

A randomised, controlled trial funded by the Department of Health. This study, the largest intervention study of its kind in Europe, was testing the effectiveness of the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) within the three domains: pregnancy and birth, child health and development, and parental life course and self sufficiency, versus ordinary maternity services in England.

The aim was to recruit 2400 first time younger mothers (aged under 19), living in areas of socio-economic deprivation from 18 hospital sites in England. In the trial, half of the women were randomised to receive routine care from maternity services plus FNP, and half will be randomised to receive routine care from maternity and child heath services. provided research nurses to 9 UK sites. Good relationship building with midwives at antenatal clinics was crucial in getting referrals for the study, and then nurses would follow up these referrals with home visits to recruit them into the trial and carry out the first interview. staff also assisted with the smooth handover of the trial to newly recruited NHS staff, supporting them until confident with the trial and continuing to work alongside them at some sites.

A hard to engage with client group to enrol into a trial did prove challenging at times, but with persistence, good team working and perseverance, recruitment figures started to grow, with sites where our nurses were involved, being some of the highest recruiting sites in the study.

Whilst our nurses are no longer working on the trial, we eagerly await the results of it to be published in 2013, to see if the project was a success and if the Family Nurse Partnership will be introduced across England.

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