to think that outlawing Independent Midwifery will have far reaching consequences for women's birth choices?(131 Posts)
C&Pd from the Choose your Midwife, Choose your Birth. MNHQ - If you think is is the wrong place for this could you perhaps move it?
Come join us in protest. An end to legal independent midwifery practise is an end to freedom and choice for women. Don't accept this loss. We are planning a demonstation in London on Monday 25th March at 11am
As of October 2013 it will become illegal for independent midwives to practise without insurance. This leaves Independent midwives unable to practise legally. It also has implications for employed midwives in regards to autonomy and registration. Woman will be unable to access the one to one,gold standard services independent midiwves provide unless the midwife is willing to break the law. The Government say it the new law will improve safety. Insurance does not make midwifery safe, good standards do. There will always be women who do not want to use the NHS and therefore may give birth unassisted or use a midwife who will be unregulated through a governing body. This is what will compromise safety. Midwives want insurance to cover their practice but it is not available to them world-wide. Insurance companies are commercial businesses and want to make a profit. They can-not do so with less than 200 midwives currently seeking insurance in the UK and a typical claim reaching into millions of pounds. This is not about practice it is about finance. Please show your support for a womans right to choose how they birth where they birth and with whom.
"do IM really only do 2-3 deliveries a year?"
No - the IM I know are turning people away constantly because they're fully booked. They generally do about 20 odd births and lots and lots of antenatal and postnatal care. Many do postnatal 'packages' of care.
In the NHS a team of 20 midwives would be expected to provide case loading care (which is what IM do) to about 220 women over the course of a year.
As for number of planned homebirths - it depends where you live. On the South Coast and in some parts of Wales, the planned home birth rate is over 10%. In the north of England it's 1%.
Many women don't have a planned hb with an IM. My friend had twins by c/s and had care throughout pregnancy from her IM, and care afterwards.
"It just shocked me that any medical professional would work without insurance."
I agree. But I'm glad I had the choice to accept or decline the services of an uninsured midwife.
She made it very clear to me before I booked with her, that in the case of malpractice leading to birth injuries to me or my baby, the most I could get would be her home and her car.
I was prepared to accept that because I felt she was competent and conscientious. I felt that my NHS birth had involved a lot of incompetent care and I wasn't prepared to risk that again. I didn't find the thought that there would be financial compensation NHS incompetence resulted in a very damaged baby a particular comfort at that point in my pregnancy. I just wanted to maximise my chance of getting myself and my baby through the birth in good health.
*IMs are just as regulated as NHS midwives*. Their outcomes are, statistically, outstanding compared to the NHS. The NHS practice defensively - the culture is defensive, bullying of midwives (and other staff) is endemic, and even the most woman-centred, caring, giving midwives in the NHS cannot give the same level of care as an IM because they simply are not given the time necessary with a woman to build up a relationship with her.
The cost of an IM, which may be from around £2,000 to around £3,500 (with variables, depending on where you are and numbers of visits, etc) is NOTHING compared to what people spend on weddings nowadays. Frankly, I feel that the birth of one's baby is far more "the biggest day of your life" than one's wedding day.
Of course they might make a mistake, and yes that could be catastrophic. But statistically they are FAR, FAR less likely to cause damage to mum or baby with a mistake than NHS provision. And as has been said before, my choice would be a much lower risk of damage to me and my baby, with the downside that if damage is caused by negligence then I can't sue anyone.
On a personal note, a friend's baby was very, very severely damaged at birth due to negligence by the hospital staff. It took 21 (count them, TWENTY ONE) years for the hospital to accept liability and pay out for the 24 hour, 7 days a week care that she needed. By the time that arrived her parents had become bankrupt and divorced with the stress and cost of everything. So it's hardly as though the NHS insurance situation is really that great.
I would certainly like IMs to be able to access good insurance, but because it would encourage more midwives to be IMs, not because I'd be bothered about it for myself. IMs earn very little money, and they do it for the love of being able to truly work "with women".
Note - not only is there no evidence that having insurance makes practice safer, there is in fact evidence that it can make practice less safe. This is because practice can then become led by insurance requirements, not best personal clinical practice. The two are often not the same, which is why NHS services can put individuals at risk of unnecessary treatments "just in case", which themselves have risks.
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