Project name
Building Blocks: Evaluating the Family Nurse Partnership


Department of Health

Building Blocks trial logo

Principal Investigator
Michael Robling 

Chris Butler, A. Kemp, Joyce Kenkre, A. Montgomery, K. Pickett, D. Torgerson.

Study type

Lay summary
The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is a licensed structured programme of home visits for first time mothers that has been developed in the US, where it is known as the Nurse Family Partnership programme. The visits are delivered by specially trained nurses called Family Nurses who are drawn mainly from health visiting and midwifery. A pilot programme involving ten sites in England was successfully evaluated in the first year suggesting that the programme can be successfully delivered in an English context. However, there remains a lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of FNP in England compared with usual services. The Department of Health in England has commissioned a randomised controlled trial to generate such evidence about the benefits and costs of the programme. In addition to the research trial the DH is funding FNP programme delivery in your PCT/Local Authority.

The trial will compare FNP with usual services across 18 Primary Care Trust /Local Authority sites across England. The study aims to recruit 2,400 pregnant first-time mothers from April 2009. In the trial, half of the women will be randomised to receive routine care from maternity services plus FNP and half will be randomised to receive routine care from maternity and child health services.

The trial will involve many professionals from across disciplines, in particular midwives who may be involved in the identification of eligible women; our researchers employed locally to recruit women and collect data and Family Nurses who will be delivering the programme.

Start date
October 2008

End date
February 2013

Further Info
Building Blocks website