For the majority of my 25 years as a midwife I have worked in the NHS, and although supportive of it in many ways, I felt it often lacked the woman-centred approach to care that is vital because every birth is different and requires a unique plan of care.
Therefore I have chosen to practice independently in order to provide women and their families with a bespoke birth service in line with their individual needs and choices, and to work in partnership with them, supporting them on their pregnancy journey.
I believe women need fully informed choice in order to decide what’s best for them and their baby, and again feel that this is somewhat lacking within the NHS, where information can all too often be given in accordance with a Trust’s policies only. I choose to fully discuss benefits and risks about everything, based on sound evidence where available, so that a woman and her family can decide what is right for them. I welcome working with women who want choices that wouldn’t be as easily supported within the NHS, and prefer to believe all choices are possible until proven otherwise. I can be a very formidable support when necessary, you can ask my colleagues!
I have also helped women and sometimes their partners deal with fears by debriefing difficult past experiences surrounding birth. I consider this an essential part of a woman’s or her partner’s birth preparation, and my role as their midwife.
Midwifery practice is strictly regulated regardless of whether I am an NHS employee or independent.
I appear on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register which allows me to practice as a midwife in accordance with my code of conduct and rules; I have a supervisor through whom I have to notify my intention to practice every year, ensuring I have accumulated both the mandatory minimum hours of clinical practice; completed my ongoing professional development which includes regular updates in coping with emergency situations; and that my equipment and record keeping are up to standard.