Disappointing and puts lives at risk says RCM on high court migrant women maternity charging ruling

on 03 July 2020 Midwives RCM Midwifery Maternity Services BAME NHS

The Royal College of Midwives is calling for an end to the charging of destitute migrant women for maternity care. It comes after a High Court challenge to the NHS charging policy by Maternity Action was refused.

Charlotte Wilson, Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is an extremely disappointing decision. We will continue to support Maternity Action in their campaign until this harsh policy is reversed. The fear of having to pay when having little or no capacity to will prevent many vulnerable migrant women from accessing vital maternity care. This is harming migrant women and their children and putting their lives at risk.”

Maternity Action lost a legal challenge in the High Court, which has refused them permission to proceed with a judicial review of the Government’s NHS charging regime for migrants. The case was brought by the charity on behalf of a woman who was charged more than £10,000 for accessing vital maternity care.

Sean O’Sullivan added, “These women are already among the most vulnerable in our society and this policy heaps more injustice upon them. It is our nation’s duty to care, support and protect them, and we are failing to do so.”


To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].

Notes to Editors

See a news story on the challenge on the RCM’s website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views/news/2020/court-rejects-maternity-action-legal-challenge-to-nhs-charging/.

For more information see the Maternity Action website at https://maternityaction.org.uk/2020/07/court-rejects-maternity-charitys-legal-challenge-to-nhs-charging/.

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.