Independent Midwives UK (IMUK) is an organisation that represents and supports self employed midwives within the UK. Independent midwives (IM) work outside of the NHS but they have all trained and worked within it and are highly skilled and experienced practitioners, who are much in demand.
They are able to provide the government recommended continuity of carer model of care to women who book with them directly, which is known to improve maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, as was highlighted in the 2016 maternity review, Better Births.
However, through no fault of their own, IMs have not been able to maintain access to professional indemnity insurance (PII), as the commercial insurance markets struggle to prioritise cover for what they consider a niche market.
Since 2014, when new legislation insisted on PII to enable midwives to remain on their professional registers, midwives and women have been at the mercy of the capricious nature of the insurance world.
In June 2020 the American insurance company that was providing insurance cover for IMs decided to pull out of the UK. With no other providers in the market self employed midwives are no longer able to practice labour care and women are faced with a loss of choice.
In response to this calamitous situation a group of women, midwives, doulas and birth activists have come together to highlight, campaign and fundraise a permanent solution to this reoccurring problem...the launch of a women led indemnity product of their own!
Nickita Starck, upon hearing of our plight and feeling passionately about a woman's right to choose her care giver, contacted the campaign team to offer her energy and considerable skills to us. She has been relentless in her determination to find us the funds to capitalise the indemnity product, raise the profile of independent midwifery and set up a fund for all women and birthing people to be able to access IM care.
Jacqui Tomkins- IMUK