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Supporting NHS Homebirths
Information for NHS Organisations

Private Midwives acknowledges that our colleagues in the NHS are under a huge amount of pressure and in some areas, they are struggling to offer safe care and so the home birth or birth centre services have been reduced or have stopped altogether. Normally this is a last resort and a decision that the Trust has not taken lightly. We understand they are trying to maximise the safety for all concerned. We also understand that for some women, this removes their choices and they are desperately upset.

As an organisation, we are keen to support the NHS where we can. If we can help by stepping in to provide homebirths for NHS clients, we will. In some circumstances, the client approaches us directly and books private care. In other cases, we are prepared to explore us providing the NHS service in a sub-contracting arrangement.

There are costs to us to provide a service. This includes salary costs, travel expenses, equipment, medication, indemnity insurance, consumables etc. Below is an outline of the option we may be able to offer NHS organisations who are considering this sub-contract agreement.

How We Can Help:

Our capacity to help in some areas is very limited and many of our midwives are fully booked months ahead. However, if we have space available, we will offer to help the NHS.

As an outline:

  • The women stay under NHS until 34 weeks of pregnancy – at which – assuming they are suitable, we will take over care provision. We will accept transfers up to 36 weeks but no later.
  • We provide antenatal care from 34 weeks, with weekly visits from week 36 and a full blood count.
  • We provide care at home for birth to include Entonox
  • We provide one week of postnatal care at home (3-4 visits). If you offer a combined NBBS and hearing clinic, this will take the place of our visit.
  • We will obtain NBBS and drop in to the hospital for processing so that your national screening data is complete.
  • If Rh Neg – we can take bloods, drop off with you, you provide Anti-D.
  • The contract would be between the organisations so there is no recruitment, no contract with patients and money is transferred from you (The NHS Organisation) to us within 3 months of birth.
  • Our care would be documented within hand held, paper, perinatal institute notes. A fully copy of which is provided to you afterwards. This avoids IT issues.
  • We can notify the birth direct with Child Health, or give the information to your staff in order to generate the NHS number – whichever is best for you.
  • A team of up to 5 midwives would be involved but the woman would have a named midwife for continuity, but team members may cross cover.
  • If the woman transfers to hospital care for AN reasons – there is no charge to you
  • If the woman transfers to hospital intrapartum, you still pay – our midwife will stay present and assist but is not clinical lead in your unit.
  • The cost is £4400 per client.

How this differs to our private service:

  • Team approach as opposed to pure case-loading, so less continuity
  • No choice of midwife, which we do offer to private clients
  • Entonox included in this NHS package

What To Do Next:

If your NHS organisation is interested in exploring this with us, please obtain board approval before you contact us. We know from experience that delays are typically with NHS approval and finance authorisation, so we are keen this is in place before we look at capacity.

We can implement everything from our end within 48hrs.

Please email info@privatemidwives.com

Further Information & Other Help

We cannot staff birth centres. In most cases, our capacity will be no more than 6 homebirths per month in any given area, but our midwives are typically fully booked in advance so the sooner we can get an arrangement in place, the more we can help.

We are also happy to explore providing other services such as parent education, antenatal and postnatal care.

Supporting Documents

Should you choose to contact us please see the below supporting documents:

Indemnity Arrangements