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SCOTLAND’s Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, has praised the Family Nurse Partnership, a project she has kept a close eye on since attending its launch last year.

She sees it as a key tool in preventing future problems in both young mothers and their babies.

It is hoped funding can be found to roll the project out across Scotland, becoming yet another scheme which can help reduce health inequalities in the country.

“I am proud to say that the Family Nurse Partnership has already made a valuable difference to the lives of 148 families across Edinburgh,” said the MSP.

“I would like to congratulate the parents and the nurses who have both worked so hard to give these children healthier, happier futures. The Lothian team has now met or exceeded most of the programme goals.

“This is a fantastic achievement – it is unusual for a test site to achieve this at such an early stage. The second test site, in Dundee, is also on track and we expect 300 pregnant teenagers to receive Family Nurse Partnership support during the next 12 months.

“As well as working closely with young families, nurses have provided support in wider ways, such as helping with housing services, exploring employment opportunities with mums and helping dads become much more involved in their children’s lives.”