Mel and her partner Rex were introduced to their Family Nurse from our Family Nurse Partnership team when Mel was 6 months pregnant. Although the pregnancy was unplanned, Mel and Rex had been together for 4 years and were living together with Mel’s family. Mel and Rex both struggled with alcohol and cannabis misuse, and had been seeking support. Although Mel was unemployed, Rex had stable employment as an apprentice.

Both Mel and Rex faced challenges with their mental health, and had both been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Although Mel was engaged in Therapy for You sessions at the time of recruitment, a mental health assessment showed that she was experiencing a significant level of anxiety. Overall, the pregnancy was a very unsettled time for the young couple, as Rex had lost his job and his college placement that he was looking forward to attending, and both Mel and Rex moved into temporary accommodation as relationships within Mel’s family deteriorated.

Once their baby, Jack, was born, the first few weeks of his life proved to be difficult for the young couple to manage. Mel had wanted to breastfeed but had faced challenges and was not able to continue, and after an incident within the temporary accommodation, Rex found himself homeless. Mel returned to her family home, to ensure Jack was safe, but found her mental health to be deteriorating. She was referred to the Perinatal Mental Health service by the Family Nurse, where she sought help for her depression and anxiety.

When Jack was 2 months old, he was subject to a Child in Need plan, but Mel was starting to bond very well with him. As relationships with her family deteriorated, Mel and Rex moved into temporary accommodation together again, and engaged well with their allocated workers at social services and other support organisations they were accessing. Mel was also attending the ABSS HENRY Healthy Families course, which helped her to give Jack a healthy, balanced and nutritious lifestyle.

The Family Nurse set up a plan to support the family, which included neglect awareness work, which gave Mel and Rex regular activities to complete; the New Mum Star, which saw the programme personalised to the families’ needs; referral to the HENRY course; FNP and Friends group attendance where the family could meet other parents and Dyadic Assessment of Naturalistic Caregiver-Child experience, where Mel and Jack were observed in an exceptionally positive play scenario.

Since engaging with the FNP team and other organisations of support, Mel cut down on smoking and made the house smoke free, which is a huge step in ensuring her little one’s health. She also continued with more Therapy for You sessions, and continues to work positively with her GP. A college course has been secured for her commencing in winter 2020, and as a result, Jack has been given a nursery placement. Their finances are in better order now, following the support from FNP and other organisations, and Jack’s development is on schedule for his age.

If you would like more information about our FNP project and how to refer, contact the team on 01702 482866.

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