Without Independent Midwives, their is no true choice for women in childbirth, and the Government should be cited as restricting that choice, despite all their current rhetoric on providing more. Care provided on the NHS is, while in many areas very good, nevertheless still often largely controlled by old fashioned, ill-informed, patriarchal protocols which do not appear to consider that some women and their families might want care that veers outside the medical box. These people do not want to be dictated to as to how their pregnancy and birth should be managed, but seek only the expert support and guidance in those choices which the Independents are able to provide, by truly individualising care, instead of having to conform to the standardisation of NHS care as we do.
The Independents are regulated in the same way as NHS midwives, and are largely far better informed that us as they have more time, with more manageable caseloads, to read up on individual cases, conditions and the latest research - so I truly struggle to understand why we can be covered by insurance, but they cannot.
It must be because ultimately, although we are professionally trained and regulated, within the NHS, we still play handmaiden and minion to the medical team and their protocols, and as such, are not ever truly autonomous. Perhaps Independent midwifery is actually the only way forward for us and women and their families, but just as this is being realised in practice by us, it has also been realised by our old friends and historical oppressors, the medical profession, who possibly have more influenc in government than the midwifery profession.
It will be a tragedy for all women and midwives if this dedicated, colourful and loving group of dedicated professionals, become extinct, and stop leading the way in progressive maternity care. They are truly complimentary to the service we provide in the NHS. A Solution must be found to guarantee their survival. (NHS community midwife)