Plans to dissolve a Greenwich programme that provides home visiting support for young first time mothers have been branded a "travesty" by Unite.

But Greenwich Council has revealed that following a review, the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is to be replaced with an "enhanced service that can deliver more intensive support."

The FNP is a national home visiting service which works with mothers up to 19 years old from pregnancy until the child is two years old, supporting a healthy pregnancy, working to improve the child's heath and development and helping the mother plan for the future.

The programme was first commissioned by Greenwich Council in March 2014, but following an extensive consultation, the new plans will see Start Well Greenwich, the proposed replacement programme, broaden its provision to more young parents.

Unite said that the plans would result in "vulnerable young families in Greenwich being left with inadequate support" if the area's FNP is dissolved.

The union said its members had raised alarm over the impact on teenager mothers and young children if the plans go ahead, and claimed that FNP staff and users had been excluded from discussions over its future.

If the plans go ahead, the current FNP service will come to an end on March 31, but the union say that since its creation Greenwich FNP "has delivered year on year results and made a difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable families in the area."

George Dodo-Williams, Unite's regional officer, added that they were "demanding" a meeting with the council and NHS bosses as "throwing FNP away would be a travesty that will leave at risk teenage mums and their offspring without the help they need."

Responding, Greenwich Council said that after reviewing the FNP, a more enhanced service was identified which would see it expanded to support more mums and carry on through until the children start school.

It also stated that there had been an extensive consultation process undertaken with families, young people, staff and partners, taking in best practice from other areas as well as 920 public responses.

Start Well Greenwich is described as an integrated service which incorporates children's centres and health visitors, embedding support within families' communities.

A spokesperson for the council said: "Ensuring families and young people have easy access to appropriate support is a key priority for Royal Greenwich as we recognise the vital importance of providing children with a strong life foundation.

"This is why we are improving upon the current provision for teenage parents to ensure they have the best start in life."

Mr Dodo-Williams commented: “FNP is the only evidence-based programme for teenage mothers in the UK and consists of intensive visiting from specialist nurses with training and experience working with vulnerable young parents.

"It is frankly unbelievable that those who run the service and those who benefit from it have not been consulted over the plans for its future. This lack of consultation is linked to serious service changes that are being conducted without transparency because of the confusion caused by the creation of the South East London CCG."