Parties unveil NHS proposals

HEALTH PLEDGES Labour'sJo Cox pictured with Sophie Hewett, 10-week-old Isabelle and her cousin Riley, 6.
HEALTH PLEDGES Labour'sJo Cox pictured with Sophie Hewett, 10-week-old Isabelle and her cousin Riley, 6.
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A Labour parliamentary candidate has welcomed a party pledge of one-to-one midwife care during childbirth.

Batley and Spen parliamentary hopeful Jo Cox, who used to work for an infant mortality charity, said the news would be welcomed by voters.

Mrs Cox said: “The Government-backed downgrade of maternity services at Dewsbury is a massive concern for women across Batley and Spen and for their families.

“Labour’s pledge, plus the promise of 3,000 more midwives, will mean safer births, fewer caesareans, less post-natal depression and a better start in life for babies.

“Amid all the uncertainty being heaped on our local hospital and its maternity department this will be very welcome news.”

The party said it would fund the move through a crackdown on tax avoidance, a levy on tobacco companies, and a tax on properties valued at more than £2m – a policy which is often referred to as the ‘mansion tax’.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party committed to spend an extra £8bn above inflation on the NHS over the next five years if it was to come out top in next month’s election.

It has pledged to provide seven-day access to GPs by 2020 and same day appointments for over-75s when needed; to integrate health and social care, and improve access to mental health treatments.

The Liberal Democrats pledged to spend £8bn on the NHS, including £3.5bn on mental health.

The Green Party said it would invest a further £12bn each year in the NHS and halt privatisation of services.