Independent Midwifery Professional Indemnity Insurance

Understanding the situation

Since 2002, Independent Midwives (IMs) have been unable to obtain profession indemnity insurance (PII). The last insurer withdrew from the market because there are too few of IMs to make PII commercially viable in light of potential payouts.

In 2006 the UK government introduced a policy, independent of the later EU Directive, to implement mandatory Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) for all healthcare professionals. It was intended to be implemented profession by profession, with nursing and midwifery amongst the last remaining.

IM UK continues to explore all the possible options. There are a number of potential solutions. Work continues in establishing alternative models of working for independent midwives that will enable them to continue to be able to practise in a way that supports a true case loading model, gives women a choice of midwifery care and midwives some professional autonomy and choice in the way they work. This is also likely to make an important contribution in solving the to date insurmountable problem of midwife retention in the profession. However there is no guarantee that these will succeed and funding is required if the social franchising type model is to move forward. IM UK will keep interested parties updated.

For full details of the current situation and the route that have and are being explored; please see the following document:
Current Situation with regard to the forthcoming requirement for mandatory Professional Indemnity Insurance which covers:

  • Insurance Background
  • EU Directive 2011/24/EU
  • Finlay Scott review
  • Department of Health 'solution'
  • Contracting into the NHS
  • Conclusion

AIMS is being asked by people what can they do to try to protect Independent Midwifery and to make sure that this valuable resource is there for future generations.

Choose your Midwife, Choose your Birth - Campaign and Protest

A demonstration is planned for the 25th March 2013. Please see www.independentmidwives.org.uk/?node=12750 for further details

What else can you do?

  1. Register with the AIMS Campaigning Network so that we can contact you when action is required. Email campaigns@aims.org.uk
  2. Tell AIMS why Independent Midwives are important - complete the short questionnaire and help us collate the evidence.
    http://forms.aims.org.uk/IMQuestionnaire/IMQuestionnaire.html
  3. Join one or all of the following facebook groups to stay informed and ready for action.
    www.facebook.com/groups/231153153595704/
    www.facebook.com/AIMSUK
    www.facebook.com/thebirthiwant
    www.facebook.com/groups/fightingforims/
    www.facebook.com/groups/42108846471/
  4. Inform other people of the issue; get them to join groups, sign up and to pass the message on further.
  5. Write to your MP and raise the issue. As a concerned constituent you can ask your MP to ask the Health Minister how he plans to secure the future of independent midwifery and what steps the DoH could take to make insurance available. Personalise the letter if possible to illustrate the importance of IM to you, your family or friends, in the past or in the future and ask specific questions so that you do not just get a standard reply.

We hope that this page is of interest, especially to our colleagues in the maternity services improvement community.

The AIMS Campaigns Team relies on Volunteers to carry out its work. If you would like to collaborate with us, are looking for further information about our work, or would like to join our team, please email campaigns@aims.org.uk.

Please consider supporting us by becoming an AIMS member or making a donation. We are a small charity that accepts no commercial sponsorship, in order to preserve our reputation for providing impartial, evidence-based information. You can make donations at Peoples Fundraising. To become an AIMS member or join our mailing list see Join AIMS

AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all.

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