Implementing EU Legislation on Indemnity Insurance for Healthcare Professionals
The impact on Independent Midwives and Women
Independent midwives are registered and regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and choose to practice outside the NHS. By October this year they could become illegal.
They provide continuity of care during pregnancy, birth and post-natal, and attend births at home and hospital. Independent Midwives assist all women including those who have had poor experiences of care in previous pregnancies as well as pregnancy related complications.
Thousands of women turn to independent midwives every year for the continuous care they can provide which is unavailable within the NHS system, seeking individualized and personal care, specific to their needs.
A good radio discussion of the issues is online here
- Women must be able to choose how they give birth and with whom. These changes will restrict the choices available to women.
- Prime Minister, David Cameron, referred to independent midwives as giving “gold standard” care. Having a known midwife, woman-centred care and one-to-one care in labour is offered by some NHS trusts, but not all. At a time when maternity care is so pressured and choice and quality varies depending on where you live, families must have the right to opt-out and book with an independent midwife instead.
- Women must not be forced in to hospital for fear of unaffordable insurance premiums.
- Independent midwives are an incredibly valuable source of skills that are fast disappearing in mainstream maternity care, such as vaginal birth of breech babies and twins. Independent Midwives can support women when they feel the NHS system cannot.
- The solutions put forward by the Government have not proved successful in practice. We urgently need the Government to engage with independent midwives to ensure there is an effective system in place by October. Independent midwives need workable and affordable insurance.
EU legislation due to come in to effect in October 2013 will mean midwives have to have insurance before offering women continuity of care and choice about how they give birth.
At present there is no insurance for private clients available. (All other professions have insurance available to them)
Currently, women can make an informed choice and opt to have an independent midwife, knowing that professional indemnity insurance is unavailable to them. However, this will all change in October when it will become illegal for independent midwives to operate in this way.
A woman has the right to deliver her baby how she chooses. IMUK want to work with the Government to find a solution that allows women requiring specialist care to have a real choice about how they give birth.
For further information contact Virginia Howes, IMUK
Facebook Group: Fighting for Independent Midwifery
Facebook Group: Independent Midwives UK
Independent Midwives UK website
Petition - Finding a workable and affordable solution for Independent SelfEmployed Midwives http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44382
For Press Enquiries:
or Sam O'Brien