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Cuts to family nurse partnership programme could prove catastrophic, claims union

Cuts to the family nurse partnership (FNP) programme in Manchester could have ‘catastrophic’ long-term effects, according to union Unite.
Unite family nurse partnership demonstration

Cuts to the family nurse partnership (FNP) programme in Manchester could have catastrophic long-term effects, according to union Unite.

Nurses and families were among a group of demonstrators outside Manchester Town Hall on 30 November protesting against planned changes to the FNP in the region, which Unite claims will affect more than 150 families.

The union said cuts to reductions in the public health nationally, and additional pressures identified by Central Manchester Foundation Trust (CMFT), which runs the FNP for the council, has meant a 770,000 cut in FNP services in 2015-16.

Unite said this will result in 16 staff being moved elsewhere in the trust, including 12 nurses who are part of the FNP team.

The FNP has been commissioned in Manchester for the last 10 years and aims to improve antenatal outcomes, child development

Cuts to the family nurse partnership (FNP) programme in Manchester could have ‘catastrophic’ long-term effects, according to union Unite.

Nurses and families were among a group of demonstrators outside Manchester Town Hall on 30 November protesting against planned changes to the FNP in the region, which Unite claims will affect more than 150 families.

Unite family nurse partnership demonstration
Unite protest outside Manchester Town Hall

The union said cuts to reductions in the public health nationally, and additional pressures identified by Central Manchester Foundation Trust (CMFT), which runs the FNP for the council, has meant a £770,000 cut in FNP services in 2015-16.

Unite said this will result in 16 staff being moved elsewhere in the trust, including 12 nurses who are part of the FNP team.

The FNP has been commissioned in Manchester for the last 10 years and aims to improve antenatal outcomes, child development and the mother's confidence and self-esteem and family nurses work intensively with young parents until the child is two.

No 'quick fix'

Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: ‘These cuts are not a quick fix. The FNP is a proven evidence-based programme delivered by specially trained nurses to first-time young mothers under the age of 20.

'The cuts may look like they are saving a large amount of money today, but in the long-term it could be catastrophic and will cost more with the possibility of children entering the criminal justice system and being taken into social care and all because their mothers were not given the support they needed.’

Online petition

An online petition set up by the union to save the existing FNP programme has generated almost 1,500 signatures.

A joint statement issued by Manchester City Council and CMFT stated they will be working in partnership to remodel children’s early years services and will ensure current users of the FNP service continue to have ‘the appropriate level of support’.

A spokesperson said: ‘A significant reduction in the national public health grant and ongoing financial challenges in the NHS mean that we have to prioritise services to benefit local people in the most effective way.’


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