Skip navigation
Press release

EIF responds to evaluation of Family Nurse Partnership


14 Oct 2015

The EI's chief executive gives her response to the evaluation of the Family Nurse Partnership published in The Lancet.

Responding to the evaluation of Family Nurse Partnership published in The Lancet, Carey Oppenheim, Chief Executive of the Early Intervention Foundation, said:

 “Family Nurse Partnership has very strong evidence of impact in the USA. This does not mean, however, that delivering the programme in the UK would have the same impact. These results demonstrate the importance of  monitoring how interventions are working in practice and their cost effectiveness. Past evidence, often in different contexts, is not a guarantee that an intervention will work again in a new location. Ongoing evaluation is the only way policy makers, commissioners and practitioners can learn, adapt and improve the services they deliver.

“These results are part of the normal and healthy development of an early intervention programme, and the willingness of the FNP National Unit to look at how to adapt the programme in the light of these findings is to be commended. We should also remember that US studies of FNP tracked families for decades. FNP is still a relatively new intervention in England and ongoing evaluation will be important.

“More immediately, responsibility for the FNP budget transferred to councils on October 1 and local authority commissioners must now consider the local cost benefit of FNP alongside that of other targeted early intervention programmes which have UK evidence of effectiveness.

“This study adds to the growing evidence base for early intervention in the UK. We will shortly be publishing details of a wide range of early intervention programmes which focus on parent child interaction in the early years, addressing attachment, cognitive development and social and emotional skills. This will be a useful resource for commissioners as many of the interventions have evidence of effectiveness. The work of making the UK an early intervention place for families and communities continues.”

About the author

Carey Oppenheim

Carey is an EIF associate and former chief executive.