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October 12, 2017

NMC Judicial Review

IMUK will be supporting our members in court on 18th and 19th October in the forthcoming Judicial Review.

The court is being asked to look at whether the Nursing & Midwifery council’s (NMC) decision around indemnity cover for our members was lawful and to rule that cover is adequate.

The NMC ruled in December 2016 that IMUK’s indemnity scheme was insufficient, despite it having been deemed suitable by two independent actuaries.

Legal proceedings were served on the NMC in March, in a claim brought by IMUK members to ensure women can access the care and support they need at the most important time of their lives.

The result of the NMC’s decision, if it is upheld by the court, would be to restrict IMUK members’ independent work to antenatal and post-natal care only.

If IMUK members win their case, the NMC must revisit their decision and review the process by which they arrived at it. They can still reject IMUK’s proposals if they can justify the decision.

But if IMUK lose their legal challenge, IMUK’s members will then lose their right to practice independently. According to Jacqui Tomkins, IMUK’s chair:

“The numbers of midwives in general have been falling to an alarming level. The whole profession is feeling under stress. They also feel they are being undervalued for the very particular skills, learned over generations, that midwives bring.

Many fear that, soon, midwives within the NHS will gradually be phased out, to be replaced with specialist nurses who will fit more easily into hospital systems.

Already, the tradition of a woman being attended by a single midwife who she can know and trust has gone. Nowadays, mothers-to-be are attended by whichever midwife is on duty.

So gradually, the whole experience of giving birth will simply become part of obstetrics, seen as a medical procedure.

For all the strengths of the NHS, independent midwives work outside the organization precisely because they dislike the stress which it entails nowadays, and the requirement to make births fit within a system.

Those concerns are however widely shared across the profession. Independent midwives have provided support and a professional service to those mothers who would prefer to give birth outside the hospital system, and who still value the ‘Call the Midwife’ gold standard.

The NMC’s decision if it stands will mean none of our members will be able to practice independently again. We will lose over a thousand years of experience and know-how, and all that professional dedication to motherhood.”

IMUK will be supporting our members in court on 18th and 19th October in the forthcoming Judicial Review. The court is being asked to look at whether the Nursing & Midwifery council’s (NMC) decision around indemnity cover for our members was lawful and to rule that cover is adequate. The NMC ruled in December 2016 […]

 
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