Independent Midwives UK (IMUK) have announced the resolution of the longstanding ‘Choose your Midwife, Choose your Birth’ campaign to secure workable, affordable professional indemnity insurance (PII) for self-employed (independent) midwives.
Following a requirement of EU legislation, professional indemnity arrangement is mandatory for all healthcare professionals from 17th July 2014.
Historically, midwives who have chosen to work as self-employed practitioners outside of the NHS have been unable to secure affordable PII due to the insurance industry combining midwifery with obstetrics in terms of risk assessment.
IMUK’s scheme, which launched today, meets the requirements of both the EU directive and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), is tailored to independent midwifery practice and is based on the analysis of midwifery data only, over the past decade.
IMUK Chair Jacqui Tomkins hailed the breakthrough, saying: “This campaign saw thousands of women, families, politicians, birth groups and midwives working together to retain women’s rights to choose the circumstances of their birth.
“We are incredibly relieved to have procured a solution which ensures that future generations of women will have independent midwifery as a choice in maternity care and that midwives can exercise their right to self-employment.
“We’d like to wholeheartedly thank all those who have supported us throughout a very tumultuous time. We are all greatly looking forward to continuing to serve families at an incredibly important time in their lives.”
Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the NCT, added: “We welcome the continuation of independent midwifery. It is a powerful partner for change in woman-centred care and we are glad to see them with a future. Independent midwives are a great example of continuity of carer, providing the individualised support that women need and want.”