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June 22, 2020

Statement on the Withdrawal of Professional Indemnity Insurance

IMUK is sad to have to report the withdrawal of commercial professional indemnity insurance (PII) for self employed midwives from the 30th of June 2020. In 2014 the UK government implemented a European Directive to compel all healthcare professionals to hold appropriate PII for the scope of their practice. The Government was notified of the absence of an insurance product to cover self employed midwives and refused a request for assistance from IMUK in the run up to the Directive being implemented, stating that the request was “not a good use of public funding”. Appropriate PII was sourced and found at the 11th hour but was investigated and challenged by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) over the period from 2014 to 2017.

For the last 2 years independent midwives have been using an American insurance provider, but this provider has decided to leave the UK market. An exhaustive search of the commercial markets has been negatively impacted by the global Covid 19 Pandemic, with underwriters refusing to consider any new business, resulting in the UK’s self employed midwives not being able to provide labour and birth care to women wishing to use their services from the 30th June.

During the recent Covid 19 Pandemic self employed midwives have offered their services to their local NHS Trusts to support home birth services and have been inundated with enquiries and bookings from women keen to secure a home birth. With a second spike in coronavirus cases expected in the Autumn the loss of independent midwives will undoubtedly increase pressure on our overstretched NHS services and remove choice for women in childbirth. IMUK has been highlighting this current crisis to the UK Government but alas we have not had any communication or acknowledgment from the relevant department or the PM office.

 

Yesterday Birthrights put out a statement on the issue.

“Independent Midwives need your help. A group of activists are aiming to create their own insurance product so that a subset of Independent Midwives no longer has to rely on the commercial insurance market.

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.”

To read the full statement please visit their Facebook page.

IMUK is sad to have to report the withdrawal of commercial professional indemnity insurance (PII) for self employed midwives from the 30th of June 2020. In 2014 the UK government implemented a European Directive to compel all healthcare professionals to hold appropriate PII for the scope of their practice. The Government was notified of the […]

 
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