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Recent key research studies relating to Health Visiting and improving outcomes for children and families:

Why Health Visiting? A review of the literature about key health visitor interventions, processes and outcomes for children and families. (Department of Health Policy Research Programme, ref. 016 0058) Cowley et al (2013)

This literature review was commissioned to support the Health Visitor Implementation Plan 2011- 2015: A Call to Action (Department of Health 2011). The overarching question for the review was: What are the key components of health visitor interventions and relationships between the current health visiting service, its processes and outcomes for children and families?

Health visiting: the voice of service users. Learning from service users’ experiences to inform the development of UK health visiting practice and services (Department of Health Policy Research Programme, ref. 016 0058) Donetto et al (2013)

The aims of this study were to briefly review the academic literature on service users’ views of health visiting and to provide an in-depth analysis of service users’ accounts of their experiences of engaging with health visiting services, with a particular focus on the ‘Universal Plus’ level of the family offer.

Rapid Review to update evidence for the healthy child programme 0-5. Public Health England Axford et al (2015)

The purpose of this rapid review was to update the evidence underpinning the Healthy Child Programme. Specifically, the aim was to synthesise relevant systematic review level evidence about ‘what works’ in key areas: parental mental health; smoking; alcohol/drug misuse; intimate partner violence; preparation and support for childbirth and the transition to parenthood; attachment; parenting support; unintentional injury in the home; safety from abuse and neglect; nutrition and obesity prevention; and speech, language and communication. In addition, the review sought to draw out key messages in relation to:

  •  identifying families in need of additional support; the delivery/effective implementation of interventions at the programme/service level and individual practitioner level
  •  workforce skills and training
  •  the economic value/cost benefits of the HCP, including both health and wider societal costs.

Effectiveness of a nurse-led intensive home-visitation programme for first-time teenage mothers (Building Blocks): a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. Robling et al 2015

This randomised controlled trial investigated the outcomes for mothers and children when adding Family Nurse Partnership to existing health service provision in England. Adding FNP to the usually provided health and social care provided no additional short-term benefit to our primary outcomes.

The Best Start at Home – Early Intervention Foundation 2015

This report is the first What Works review commissioned by the Early Intervention Foundation on UK-based early interventions for children from conception to the start of primary school. The report is a first examination of the evidence and considers interventions that enhance parent-child interaction with a view to improving three important outcomes: attachment and parental sensitivity; social and emotional development; and language and communication.

The impact of Children’s centres: studying the effects of children’s centres in promoting better outcomes for young children and their families. University of Oxford Sammons et al (2015)

The six year Evaluation of Children’s Centres in England (ECCE) study was conducted between 2009 and 2015. It is based around a number of linked Strands and has produced a series of reports. This penultimate report describes and summarises the main results from the Impact study. It studied the impact of children’s centres in improving 13 measured outcomes for a large sample of user families.

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