Sunday, 18 May 2014

Innovative nursing programme helps young parents

A young Ardrossan couple have shared their experience of becoming parents in their teens.

Katrina Kennedy and Adam Thomson, along with their four-month-old son Tyler, were the guests of honour when the Family Nurse Partnership programme held its annual review during a visit to NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

The programme begins its work during early pregnancy and focuses on helping young women to feel confident about supporting their baby to grow, develop and learn. In addition, the scheme involves a pattern of weekly and fortnightly visits from early pregnancy through to the child's second birthday, and is designed to help young women and their partners develop an understanding of their baby, behaviour changes, emotional development and the building of positive relationships.

Katrina and Adam were 19 when Tyler was born, and say that pregnancy and parenthood would have been much more emotionally difficult without the help and support of their family nurse, Karen McGilvery. Katrina explained, “I've really enjoyed it. I like the fact that it starts in pregnancy and we got the chance to know and trust Karen. It was also helpful going through all the essentials so we knew what to do and what we needed to have before Tyler was born.”

Adam also felt the programme was beneficial, saying, “It felt good to have constant support and to know you could lift the phone and have a person there to help you.”

The Ardrossan couple stressed that the Family Nurse Partnership had given them the confidence and resilience to embrace parenthood - but still follow their dreams. As the programme is built around each individual's needs and circumstances, one of the first questions the couple were asked was where they wanted to be in three years' time. For Adam, his ambition was to go to university to study Psychology, and at first he thought impending fatherhood would put a stop to his plans, but with the support of Family Nurse Karen, who scheduled her visits around Adam's university timetable to keep him involved, he was able to pursue his dream and be there for his new family, too.

Adam said, “The programme gave me the confidence to go to university and make being a dad work.”

The Family Nurse Partnership programme was developed in the United States by Professor David Olds over a period of 30 years. NHS Ayrshire & Arran is the fifth Scottish Health Board to introduce the programme, which will be rolled-out across Scotland by 2015. So far, the team of one supervisor and seven nurses have worked with more than 150 young mums-to-be across Ayrshire.

Donna McKee, NHS Ayrshire & Arran's Family Nurse Partnership Lead, said, “We are very grateful to Gail Trotter, the Clinical Director of the FNP National Unit, and Carolyn Wilson, FNP Policy Lead, for coming to meet us to share our experiences and learning, and to help us identify areas for further development. They were impressed with the way the programme has been implemented in Ayrshire and Arran and, in particular, the close partnership-working and strong relationships between the NHS and local authority services. They also recognised the excellent FNP team, who have faced and successfully overcome many challenges along the way.”

Ms McKee noted, “Katrina and Adam's story is a wonderful example of the Family Nurse Partnership in action, and Tyler was the star of the show.”

No comments:

Post a Comment