Response from the House of Commons regarding the demise of independent midwifery

To follow will be my response to Mr Desmonde Swayne.  Paragraph 4 is talking about working a model within the NHS, which is not what we were asking about.  This of course means that all maternity care will come from one provider – the NHS and with many health documents babbling on about choice how can this be choice?  Megan asked about indepepdent midwives working independently – not through the NHS.  He has not answered the question.  Aaaggghhhh!

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5 Responses to Response from the House of Commons regarding the demise of independent midwifery

  1. admin says:

    ​​Mmmm frustrating. The small numbers bit is true in reality – because only a small number of us practice like this due to insurance issues etc and only a small number of women access us for financial reasons or fear of opting out of a sytem. However I would argue that I know many midwives who would practice like this if there was insurance and large numbers of women would value and access this service if finanacial obcstacles and fear of opting out etc were not an issue. This is apparent from when you talk to women and the response on netmums and facebook etc. What numbers would be needed do you think? If we could get hundreds of thousands of women to say they would use this service would that be a starting point? How many do we already have on the back of the last campaign do you know?

    I understand where you are coming from Eleanor and appreciate you have been through this process I am going through now! Thank you for all the good work you are doing on Neighbourhood Midwives. Please everyone visit http://www.neighbourhoodmidwives.org.uk/ and give your support for this too. IM’s have been working hard on this social enterprise but as Eleanor says although it will provide a massive improvement in maternity services for some women there are still a large group who will not be able to access this – (yet! ;) ). NM is not IM care and threrfore IM care will be lost forever. :(

  2. I’m afraid that the Government and DOH feel that this issue only effects a tiny number of midwives in the UK and therefore a very small number of women. It feels like they have ‘ticked the box’ by saying that the solution is for IM’s to form social enterprises so they can ‘contract in’ to the NHS and therefore gain insurance. This is so simplistic as well as being very difficult to actually achieve. I believe that Independent Midwifery will end on 25th October 2013 and that whilst there will be an initial outcry, then we will be forgotten as the press and the public move on to other issues. Sorry to be so pessimistic.

  3. Debbie Chippington Derrick says:

    Actually the end of paragraph three is the most interesting and the one that perhaps would be worth pursuing with him….where he says that they agree with the recommendation and that it should be managed on a case-by-case basis…..if this is really so then how are they going to support the continued practice of midwives outside the NHS, because this has nothing to do with different structures for contracting midwives into the NHS

    I suspect that he really does not understand what is happening and that going back to him would be well worth it, as he is probably on a steep learning curve here.

  4. admin says:

    This is very interesting. Has it been explored further? Be good to talk Louisa….. Where are you based?

  5. Louisa Noel says:

    It’s so frustrating when people misunderstand the point – you can never tell whether it’s deliberate or they are just under informed.

    A few points:
    (a) the EU Directive requires “systems of professional liability insurance, or a guarantee or similar arrangement that is equivalent or essentially comparable as regards its purpose and which is appropriate to the nature and the extent of the risk”. It doesn’t have to be commercial insurance cover;

    (b) in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ policy review research on the insurance requirement (June 2010), they noted that interviewees suggested state subsidisation, which could operate (a) as the State providing a basic level of cover and HCPs topping up where they provide higher-risk services or (b) with the State providing top-up cover where full cover is not available. It was felt that the commercial insurance market was more inclined to support the second of these proposals – this is similar to the Pool Re scheme (see below); and

    (c) the Pool Re scheme was set up in relation to commercial property insurance, when terrorism cover became unavailable in the insurance market in the early 1990s. This would have had serious consequences for the commercial property market, particularly in London, and the UK economy as a whole. Pool Re is a government-backed scheme devised as a mechanism for providing terrorism cover to those who needed it without leaving insurers/reinsurers open to large losses for which they had no reliable way of calculating accurate premia. Query whether a similar scheme would work for IMs, if the government and the insurers were prepared to make it happen?

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