A major change in the law compelling midwives to carry professional indemnity insurance has come in to action today.
The Healthcare and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014 means that all healthcare professionals must carry adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance to comply with the law.
Historically, midwives have been the only group practicing autonomously who could not access this type of insurance. Previously, it was deemed that their self employed status and small numbers made it unviable and deterred the insurance market from offering them cover.
However, the Government's commitment to ensuring that people have access to financial redress has led to the law that now states that, in order to practice, all midwives must carry this insurance.
During the debate in the House of Lords on 30 June 2014 Lord Howe said: “a new social enterprise called Neighbourhood Midwives was set up… and is now offering maternity care in the private sector with appropriate indemnity cover in place. Its business model is an employee-owned mutual providing management and support to small, community-based neighbourhood practices."
Tina Perridge of Neighbourhood Midwives commented, "This legislation has massive implications for independent midwives. As IMs we were committed to finding a workable solution and we are delighted to be singled out by Lord Howe for comment. As he states - as an organisation, we now have appropriate cover in place but we are aware that there may continue to be confusion amongst the public about this issue and so have added a FAQ section to our website to address any questions or concerns."