March 2020 Update: In the wake of a new Trust Board coming into place at Airedale NHS, the partnership described below has come to an end, meaning that I and many other Yorkshire independent midwives do not currently have indemnity cover allowing us to attend birth. The timing is tragic, as we are getting so many calls from women whose local home birth service has been withdrawn. Independent Midwives UK continues to work on finding another indemnity cover package but this is unlikely to eventuate until later in the year. Fingers crossed… I can still offer antenatal and postnatal visits and care, as the indemnity for this is covered by my RCN membership. I will also gladly help you create a robust birth plan to support you through birth at a challenging time.
Yorkshire’s independent midwives are uniquely lucky, in that, after the 2017 decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to stop independent midwives using their specially-designed birth indemnity cover, Airedale NHS stepped in to offer a mutually beneficial partnership, including birth cover. This allows the Yorkshire IMs to attend all their home birth clients, and to clock on at Airedale hospital if local clients transfer in, or further-off clients book elective inductions or sections. This partnership entirely respects the individualised choices of birthing women.
Francesca, who birthed under this arrangement, writes…
“I gave birth on 14th January 2018, to a little girl. She was born at Airedale hospital with the midwives and doctors support there, as well as with the support of the Yorkshire Storks independent midwives, who I had seen during my pregnancy and who have supported me postnatally…I laboured for some time at home, in the birth pool and in my bedroom, with the support of my partner and Sharyn. I then transferred to Airedale, where I continued to be supported by Sharyn and the midwife team in hospital… [they] were extremely mutually respectful. It is a unique partnership which these independent midwives have with a hospital and I truly hope it continues to flourish, as I hope it means more women and their babies can benefit.”