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Sunday, 5 February 2017

What happens when lawyers regulate health professionals...

The Chief Executive at The Nursing and Midwifery Council is a lawyer and she makes the mistake of confusing indemnity with safety.  Indemnity is about insurers covering claims and legal fees in the event of legal action being taken against a health professional.  It does not offer any other protection.  Indemnity insurance is not some sort of talisman that prevents poor outcomes or even poor care or protect woman and babies from those.  Good and safe midwifery care is given by well-trained, skillful and reflective midwives.  

Outcomes are particularly good where there is continuity of care, a relationship between mother and midwife, exists:

What if a woman makes an informed choice to be looked after by a midwife without what the NMC lawyers decree is adequate indemnity insurance?  Obviously that is a choice she is not ALLOWED to make.  Not allowed to make by the NMC which is denying choice, autonomy and basic rights to women - to choose those who enter their homes, touch their bodies, and help them give birth to their children.

Only independent midwives provide true continuity of care in the UK.  For many women (UM included), continuity of care, knowing one's midwife, knowing who will look after one in labour, is MORE important than being able to sue for large amounts of money in the rare event that something goes wrong due to poor care.  Of course it is clearly not so for Jackie Smith with her lawyer's litigation-focused mindset, and she and her staff have effectively denied UK women the choice of assured continuity of care by preventing IMs from practising under their current indemnity arrangements.

Listen to this incredible interview of Jackie Smith by Beverley Turner of LBC radio. .  Beverley covers the current onslaught against IMs brilliantly and shows clearly the dangers of giving lawyers power.  The law was described by the philosopher Rudolf Steiner as the most unspiritual of human endeavours and Jackie Smith and her NMC show why this is so.

Well done Beverley Turner for covering the topic so well.