In Scotland, 58 000 new mothers every year to get baby box worth £160 but Labour are not completely happy


As of this week young mothers in Scotland will begin to receive the boxes with fitted mattresses, a digital ear thermometer worth about £45, fleece jackets, bodysuits, sleepsuits, books, anti-scratch mittens and muslin cloths. It’s hoped these boxes and their contents will improve life chances of many babies. The scheme is based on a Finnish one where, according to First Minister Sturgeon, it has been helping to reduce infant mortality since the 1930s!

Suggesting it’s not been thought out properly, Margaret McCartney writes in the BMJ: Furthermore, pregnant women in Finland have had a comprehensive health service—in other words, it’s not all about the box.’ Did the SNP say it was all about the box? Isn’t there a comprehensive health service in Scotland? Check out the references below on that. Did the Finns have one in the 1930s? Anyhow, can she prove the boxes had no effect? That they still do it today tells me they [hundreds of thousands of midwives over 8 decades?] believe in it. Not everything is amenable to western positivist research methods not should it have to be so to be done.

Of course, you can’t definitively prove the effects of the boxes on their own when there are other variables like that. I know, let’s give the boxes to 100 new mothers but deny them post-natal NHS access and deny another 100 the boxes and post-natal access to the NHS and see who does best. They do that kind of experiment with rats so…?

The Labour party in Scotland is ‘broadly [grudgingly?] supportive’ but find fault with the speed of the rollout and the lack of breastfeeding equipment. Can’t they decide themselves whether they want to or feel able to breastfeed? I know breast is best but should young mums who just can’t do it, be bullied into it? So, Labour wanted to delay the rollout and endanger lives just to make a point? It kind of looks like they just cannot be happy with anything the SNP do.

It’s only claimed that the box will operate as a temporary crib, in an effort to reduce cot deaths and to promote safe sleeping.

The scheme will cost the Scottish Government £8 million per year.

Regular readers here will have seen these:

Scottish stillbirth and early infant death rates lowest in the UK and approaching lowest in the world

Scottish public sector to put poverty and inequality at heart of decision-making despite UK Government’s abandonment of the principle

Though we already have the highest rate of donors in the UK, Scottish government to introduce soft opt-out system for organ donation. Does this tell us something more?

‘NHS across UK has much to learn from Scotland?’ The King’s Fund told us this in 2013!

There is no equivalent scheme in Tory England, other than in Hackney, nor does its government show such signs of actually caring more for its people than it does for itself, the rich and the corporations. Tell me again why we’re not so different that we shouldn’t need more autonomy?


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