Staff shortages in the NHS mean too many women aren't getting the care they need during labour and childbirth. We intend to change that. Today we’ve launched our new health manifesto -- you can read the whole thing here -- which includes an important new pledge: for the first time all women in labour will be guaranteed personalised one-to-one care from a midwife.
Here are the facts you need to know:
- One-to-one care means that a woman in established labour receives care from a designated midwife for the whole of that labour.
- This means that a midwife will be able to care for mum 100 per cent of the time.
- The one-to-one care will cover the labour, the birth and the period immediately after giving birth.
- All the evidence shows this is the best way to improve the quality and safety of care for women and babies.
- In fact NICE recently found that longer-term benefits of one-to-one may care include increased take-up of breastfeeding and a reduction in post-natal depression.
This guarantee will be made possible by our commitment to recruit 3,000 more midwives by 2020 -- through our £2.5bn Time to Care Fund, funded through a mansion tax on properties over £2m, tackling tax avoidance and a new levy on tobacco firms.
It’s all part of Labour’s broader plan to make sure the NHS is sustainable and fit for the future. Rather than simply responding to problems, we need to focus on promoting good health and preventing ill health -- starting at the very beginning of life.