‘It’s our right to choose a mid­wife’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Nick Cullen

MOTH­ERS are back­ing Ash­ford’s in­de­pen­dent mid­wives in their ef­forts to re­sist leg­is­la­tion that threat­ens to close their prac­tice.

Last week we re­ported that new reg­u­la­tions re­quir­ing all private health work­ers to have pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­sur­ance (PFII) are com­ing into force next year.

Be­cause of the very high po­ten­tial pay­outs that would re­sult from in­juries to new­born ba­bies, it is im­pos­si­ble for Bri­tain’s 200 in­de­pen­dent mid­wives to get PFII on the open mar­ket.

With­out in­sur­ance, the Kent Mid­wifery Prac­tice, based in Ash­ford, will be forced to close.

Louise Car­rie, 38, lives in Blue Field in Singleton with her hus­band Alastair, 49, a pilot. The cou­ple’s first baby, a son named Theo, was born in Au­gust.

Al­though he was born in the William Har­vey Hospi­tal, Vir­ginia Howe from the Kent prac­tice helped the cou­ple through­out the preg­nancy.

Louise said: “It’s all about con­ti­nu­ity and the re­la­tion­ship you build up with a mid­wife. She’s with you right through that whole nine months, ed­u­cat­ing you about what to ex­pect.

“Theo was our first child, and if we have other chil­dren we def­i­nitely want to have them with an in­de­pen­dent mid­wife.”

“I couldn’t be­lieve it when I heard they might have to close. I can’t tell you how strongly I feel about it. It’s our right to choose, and that’s what they are tak­ing away from us. I’m very an­gry.”

Emer­gency

Heather Miller, 40, from Hopes Grove in High Halden had her first child, also called Theo, in the William Har­vey, but opted for a home birth with an in­de­pen­dent mid­wife when her daugh­ter El­iz­a­beth was born last year. She plans to have her next baby at home.

She said: “I def­i­nitely agree that we need more choice. It’s down to the in­di­vid­ual mother. I don’t want to go back into hospi­tal un­less it’s an emer­gency. Other than that, I would much pre­fer a home birth. It was much more re­lax­ing.”

Heather said the cost of a home birth with the Kent Mid­wifery Prac­tice was £1,500, and the full nine-month ser­vice was £2,500.

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1173083

Louise Car­rie with baby Theo who was born with the help of an in­de­pen­dent mid­wife

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