Independent midwives to benefit from new working scheme

By Hollie Ewers on 08 June 2018 Independent Midwives Insurance Flexible Working

A new working model has been launched to make it more affordable for self-employed midwives to work. 

The Professional Risk and Indemnity Scheme for Midwives (PRISM) has been created by UK Birth Centres Ltd – the parent company of Private Midwives.

Midwives who opt to work under PRISM will now be covered for up to £15m in liability through the company’s comprehensive and legally required Medical Malpractice Healthcare Indemnity insurance policy, without exclusions and with run-off cover protection.

This is something that has previously proven cost prohibitive for self-employed midwives.

With PRISM, self-employed midwives will be working as part of a CQC registered and regulated company, and have access to UK Birth Centres’ resources, including clinical guidelines, support, policies and procedures, Perinatal Institute maternity notes, GROW chart generators and multi-professional training opportunities.

In addition, PRISM members will gain access to clinical escalation for urgent cases with support from a senior clinician. And midwives will have annual appraisals and training by UK Birth Centres to enable them to meet revalidation requirements.

UK Birth Centres’ chief executive officer Eduard Sparkes said: ‘The PRISM scheme will create opportunities for self-employed midwives, who often face difficulties in equipping themselves with the insurance that they need to work legally, as this can be very costly.’

He added that UK Birth Centres Limited currently employs a large network of experienced midwives through its Private Midwives infrastructure, across the UK and Ireland, on both a salary and bank basis. However, the current directors were keen to explore a solution to enable midwives who choose to work in a self-employment model, to do so legally and with appropriate insurance and assurance mechanisms in place.

RCM director of services to members Suzanne Tyler said: ‘This is very good news for those midwives who want to work outside the NHS. Their struggle, over many years, to find an affordable and workable insurance policy may now be over. Earlier this year the RCM issued guidance on how the NHS could facilitate independent midwifery, this is available on our website.

'This new insurance arrangement does not affect the RCM’s medical malpractice cover for members employed by the NHS or other government agencies, who are already covered for limited private practise outside of work.’