As the General Election approaches, Bliss have been reviewing the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos to see what the main parties have to say about the issues that matter to babies born premature or sick.
Caroline Lee-Davey, CEO of Bliss, commented: “This election gives politicians from across the parties the opportunity to pledge their support for the vital neonatal care that babies and their families receive, and ultimately improve outcomes for the smallest and sickest babies.
We welcome the positive steps set out in manifestos launched this week, including commitments to reduce infant mortality and promises to support families who experience the loss of a baby. However, it’s vital that those in power after the election go further, and quickly, to deliver improvements in neonatal care.
We need to see immediate investment in neonatal services to make sure there are enough staff in place, with the appropriate training, to deliver safe and appropriate levels of care to every baby. And we want to see investment in facilities for parents so they can stay with their baby during this incredibly challenging time.
Bliss looks forward to working with the new Government and all opposition parties after 8 June to take concrete steps towards these goals, and to ultimately benefit the over 95,000 babies born premature and sick in the UK every year.”
Remember that you can read more details about each party and their pledges by visiting their websites. And you can register to vote until 22 May via www.gov.uk.
After June 8 we’ll need your help to tell your new MP about the needs of premature and sick babies – register now for updates on how you can join the campaign.
The Conservative manifesto pledges to seek to reduce infant deaths, to support families who experience baby loss, and to make provisions for child bereavement leave for parents. They want to increase the numbers of medical students, and will include the rights of EU health professionals in Brexit negotiations.
Labour pledges to take action to significantly reduce infant deaths, to provide bereavement support for all families who experience baby loss, and to create a Children’s Health Fund. They’ve also committed to increasing NHS funding, and ring fencing money for social care too. And they want to make sure more NHS services are hitting targets for access to treatments and waiting times.
The Liberal Democrats’ key health pledge is a 1p rise on rates of Income Tax which they will spend on NHS and social care. They’ll also guarantee the rights of all NHS and social care staff who are EU nationals to stay in the UK, and pledged to produce a national workforce strategy for the health service. The Lib Dems have made a number of commitments on access to treatments for mental health.
At Bliss we’re committed to ensuring every baby has the best possible chance of survival and quality of life. You can read our views on NHS funding, the neonatal workforce, and mental health for parents of premature and sick babies across this site. We’re also working to ensure support is in place for bereaved parents through our campaigns with partner organisations on reducing baby loss.