Cost-Effectiveness of the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) Programme in England: Evidence from the Building Blocks Trial

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Rational, aims, and objectives: The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is a licensed intensive home visiting intervention developed in the United States. It has been provided in England by the Department of Health since 2006. The Building Blocks trial assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of FNP in England. Methods: We performed a cost-utility analysis (National Health Service (NHS) perspective) alongside the Building Blocks trial (over 2.5 y). The analysis was conducted in accordance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reference case standards. Health-related quality of life was elicited from mothers using the EQ-5D-3L. Resource-use data were collected from self-reported questionnaires, Hospital Episode Statistics, general practitioner records and the central Department of Health FNP database. Costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were discounted at 3.5%. The base case analysis used an intention to treat approach on the imputed dataset using multiple imputation. Results: The FNP intervention costs on average £1812 more per participant compared to usual care (95% confidence interval: −£2700; £5744). Incremental adjusted mean QALYs are marginally higher for FNP (mean difference 0.0036, 95% confidence interval: −0.017; 0.025). The probability of FNP being cost-effective is less than 20% given the current NICE willingness to pay threshold of £20 000 per additional QALY. The results were robust to sensitivity analyses. Conclusion: Given the absence of significant benefits of FNP in terms of the primary outcomes of the trial and only marginal maternal QALY gains, FNP does not represent a cost-effective intervention when compared with existing services already offered to young pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1374
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number6
Early online date11 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2017


  • cost-effectiveness
  • home visiting
  • maternal health
  • pregnancy in adolescence
  • prenatal care
  • randomised controlled trial

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