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Conservatives to unveil maternity care proposals

26 November 2009

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The Conservatives will announce today plans for the “rebirth” of maternity care to focus services more on families and communities.

Funding for innovative services like drop-in midwifery practices in shopping centres would be encouraged, while prospective fathers or other family members would be offered antenatal sessions alongside expecting mothers.

No cuts would be made either in maternity services to recognise the additional pressures that higher birth rates have created, the party said.

There would also be a greater emphasis on women being given the option of a home birth or in an accessible midwife-led unit rather than a hospital birth.

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will outline the Tories’ proposals to improve NHS maternity care in a speech to the Royal College of Midwives annual conference in Manchester.

Mr Lansley will say: “These plans will transform care for new mothers in England, from a service that is currently overstretched and patchy to one where every family gets the care and support that it needs.

“Labour haven’t delivered on their promises to give women real choice, to provide proper care during pregnancy and following birth, or to help those families that are most isolated and vulnerable. Our reforms will make these things a reality.

“They will give every woman world-class care and help our maternity services play a much bigger part in strengthening our families and communities.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009