Silent Protest and March

MEET YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT MIDWIFE WHO WORKS IN THE SAME WAY AS THE ONE FEATURED IN RECENT ITV DOCUMENTARY “HOME DELIVERY” AND FIND OUT ABOUT IMPENDING LOSS OF THIS AMAZINGLY DEDICATED AND COMMITTED GROUP OF MIDWIVES

SILENT PROTEST AND MARCH ON MONDAY 25TH MARCH AT HOUSE OF COMMONS

Currently Independent Midwives are campaigning hard to save this form of midwifery which will disappear in October unless the Government changes course.

This campaign continues with a Silent Protest and march in Westminster on Monday 25 March, from 11am, to lobby Government to protect women's right to choose their maternity care and find a solution to the issues raised by an EU Directive.

Independent Midwives are registered midwives who have chosen to work outside the NHS to be able to offer continuous care and support to women who choose it. This is the kind of autonomous midwifery that you see in the hugely popular programme “Call the Midwife”. Nowadays it is mostly only independent midwives who are able to provide what David Cameron once called “gold standard care”. Due to staff shortages and budgetary pressures very few NHS Trusts are able to provide this kind of care.

Sally Randle is an independent midwife in Bristol, offering local women an alternative to NHS care. Sally says, “I was lucky enough to practise this way in the NHS in London, but local maternity services did not provide this way of working. I decided to become an independent midwife so I could continue this rewarding work. I love my job; I don't even mind getting up in the night to go out to a birth because I know the family well and feel privileged to be involved in this amazing time in their lives”.

Local women appreciate the extra support they get because their independent midwife has time to talk during appointments and they can relax knowing who will be at their birth. One of Sally's clients wrote “I really appreciated your calmness and reassurances. If only every woman could have such fantastic one to one attention. It really made me feel looked after. We had a wonderful birth experience – just as we'd hoped”.

Under current plans, this kind of midwifery will disappear in October this year because of an EU Directive about insurance and healthcare. If this happens: how will it affect maternity care?

  • Women must be able to choose how they give birth. These changes will restrict the choices available to women.

  • Prime Minister, David Cameron, referred to independent midwives as giving “gold standard” care. Having a known midwife, woman-centred care and one-to-one care in labour is offered by some NHS trusts, but not all. At a time when maternity care is so pressured and choice and quality varies depending on where you live, families must have the right to opt-out and book with an independent midwife instead.

  • Independent midwives are an incredibly valuable source of skills that are fast disappearing in mainstream maternity care, such as vaginal delivery of breech babies and twins. Their work drives up standards of mainstream maternity care because women become more aware of the options available to them and, therefore, expect more from the NHS.

  • The solutions put forward by the Government have not proven successful in practice. We urgently need the Government to engage with independent midwives to ensure there is an effective system in place by October. Independent midwives need affordable insurance.

For more information, please contact IMUK press contact. Details at bottom of page.