A state-funded maternity nurse for six hours a day for the first week of every child's life. That is the latest Tory policy idea being floated and yes, you may think on the face of it that it is a great idea. You may also think 'what the hell is a maternity nurses?'. You are most likely to ask that question if you're not well off because they are by no means cheap. A maternity nurse will cost you around £100 for a 12 hour shift, so if you had one for a week that's nearly a grand. That's why most people will not have heard of them.
Now think about those figures in relation to the policy. Six hours each day for a week. Let's assume they mean a full week, that's at least £350 per child born in the UK each week. Whether you get extra help for twins or perhaps triplets is unknown. In 2006 there were, approximately 14,500 babies born each week. Now multiply that by the low estimate cost and you're at about £5 million a week. That also assumes that you have a rolling maternity nurse pool of around 15,000.
At a time when there is a shortage of midwives already, are we seriously going to propose spending around a quarter of a billion each year on maternity nurses? Come off it!