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Friday, 27 January 2017

Great blog looking at indemnity insurance and the current UK independent midwifery crisis

Below is a link to Richard Chappell's blog Philosophy et cetera.  Richard and his partner are expecting their baby in March 2017 and are directly affected by the latest restriction imposed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.  He discusses the glaringly obvious point that the possession of indemnity insurance by attendants at any amount has nothing to do with the safety of women and babies as the NMC claims.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Birthrights' letter to NMC and the RCM's

It is such a shame that we need an organisation like Birthrights in the UK in 2017 but need it we do.  They have written to Jackie Smith, CEO of the Nursing and Midwifery (sic) Council and their excellent letter can be read on their website

That a human rights organisation has to write to our professional "regulator" to plead the case of pregnant women is an absolute disgrace.  Can there be any doubt in anyone's mind now that midwifery is not safe as long as it is controlled (a much better word for what is going on than "regulated") by the NMC?

The RCM MUST lead from the front and initiate a relentless and extensive campaign to achieve separate regulation for midwives.   It cannot stand by, taking over £20 a month from the midwives of this country, and let this relentless destruction of midwifery go on.  If the NMC were interested in the well-being of women and babies, it would look at the extensive evidence-base on the safety of midwifery care and act to consolidate and strengthen the profession, not undermine it at every opportunity.

Unfortunately there is NOTHING on the RCM website about this, never mind a copy of their letter (presumably they have written one) to the NMC.  Nor have they sent out an email briefing the profession on their position.  Come on RCM, stick your head above the parapet!

Urgent - if you are living in UK, please sign petition in support of independent midwives against latest attack by NMC

UK Independent Midwives are unable currently to attend clients in labour following yet another outbreak of over-zealousness-in-the-wrong-direction from the NMC. 

IMUK, representing most UK IMs, has a statement on its website 

Ellie Durrant (Midwife Diaries Blogger) says:

"This means women who have carefully chosen an Independent Midwife for complex, personal reasons are being denied the right to have their chosen caregiver during childbirth.

This is due to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) specifying indemnity insurance is not adequate (something not identified until a few days ago).

Independent midwives are not even allowed to attend the women having NHS care during labour and birth.

The rights of women to choose who is with them in labour has been taken away.

However, the NMC are unable to specify what level of cover is adequate:

'"We (the NMC) are unable to advise you about the level of cover that you need. We consider that you are in the best position to determine, with your indemnity provider, what level of cover is appropriate for your practice. You should seek advice as appropriate from your professional body, trade union or insurer to inform your decision. You need to be able to demonstrate that you fully disclosed your scope of practice and to justify your decisions
if asked to do so". 

We suggest that the NMC reconsider their judgement or specify what needs to be done to ensure women can choose their caregiver. We understand the NMC has the wellbeing of women and babies at the forefront of their decisions but respectfully ask if this decision is in line with this.

Further information: As Independent Midwives are often women’s only option to make choices for their care (as the NHS cannot always accommodate needs such as homebirth), and many choose them due to birth trauma or other complex and distressing situations, we see this as a human rights issue.

If you listen to women reacting to this news many are talking about freebirth instead of accessing NHS care as they feel their mental and physical wellbeing being adversely affected by NHS care is not something they can risk."

Please sign and share petition through your networks.  Ellie is very kind in her judgement of the NMC's attitude to women choices and decisions.  UM has never seen any action from the NMC that has furthered women's choice or supported midwifery in the interests of women and babies.  However if anyone can pinpoint such an action, please do comment.