After releasing this video several independent midwives rightly pointed out to us that our post was misleading, as one shared with us; "I'd like to point out that although we cannot attend births, we ARE able to provide our usual gold standard antenatal and postnatal care. We desperately need intrapartum insurance to provide birth care, but right now please don't say we can't practice at all, because at this time antenatal and postnatal care provision is my livelihood!"
We apologise for the misleading information and have updated the wording in our communication. We hope that this is now a true reflection of the situation, please do contact us if you feel there is any other information we should update or share.
Independent midwives are facing a desperate situation right now. In 2020, self employed midwives lost all access to commercial professional indemnity insurance covering them for intrapartum care (care of women and their babies during labour and immediately after the birth). Exhaustive search for alternative insurance providers and support from the UK government has proved fruitless, leaving independent midwives simply unable to provide their full services. They are still able to provide antenatal and postnatal care.
These self-employed midwives are professional and regulated. They choose to work outside of the NHS allowing them to offer personalised care for the parents they assist. Many have shown examples of how a different style of care and personal relationships can improve birth outcomes for woman. This can help feed into and improve the NHS guidelines - helping improve care for all. The service of an independent midwife has been described as: “A service that is priceless” and “The best money I ever spent.”
Why does this matter?
As shared by Birthrights; “We know not everyone can afford an independent midwife. However as a group, they play a vital role in maternity services by offering an alternative woman/individual centred model of care, and therefore continually challenging the NHS to do the same. During coronavirus, we are aware of individuals who have turned to IMs in desperation when local NHS services have been unable to meet their needs.”