The Family Nurse Partnership is currently being piloted in 40 sites across England, increasing to 50 by January 2010. The DoH's aim is to up this to 70 by April 2011, with a view to rolling it out across England over the next decade.
The second-year evaluation report by University of London, Birbeck, found that the programme delivered a 20% relative reduction in smoking during pregnancy and a breastfeeding initiation rate 10% higher (63%) than the national average.
Health minister Ann Keen said: ‘Early signs show that it is having a real impact on reducing smoking and improving breastfeeding rates for young mothers.
‘The programme is continuing to be delivered well and is having a real impact on some of the most vulnerable babies and families in our society.'