A message from Yorks Storks, 19th March 2020: What we can and can’t do right now


Thanks for getting in touch in these weird times. We’re really sorry to say that as of Monday our birth indemnity (without which we are unable to attend any births) has been withdrawn due to a new, less supportive board at Airedale NHS trust which has been providing our indemnity for the last 3 years. Existing clients remain covered for their births, but we cannot book new clients for birth attendence.
This was not due to any difficulty with the Airedale partnership at all, it worked beautifully and you can read the our closing statement here. Other indemnity arrangements are difficult to access for a variety of reasons currently, but we are working on it. This situation however means that we are unable to take on any new birth clients. This most likely affects other Yorkshire IMs too, but DO phone around to see what everyone is able to offer. Having said this, see below on what we CAN offer.


 The first step with us is usually a consultation. That helps people decide if they want to book any sort of service with us. We come to your place, it costs £60, and you can ask whatever you need to and discuss what your best options for care might involve, whether with us or the NHS or both together. This doesn’t commit you to anything. We can also offer you a birth debriefing or birth planning session (or more than one) for which we charge £110 each, during which you can talk through a previous birth, or plan a future one, even without considering independent midwifery care. The current situation means that we can also offer you the consultation as a FaceTime/skype/phone consultation for a donation.
We are Debs Neiger (midwife), Sharyn Lock (midwife), and Chris Warren (midwife) and we live in York, Bradford and Thirsk respectively.


So, due to the current situation we have decided to offer a ‘immediate postnatal package’……we realise that women may well decide to birth without a midwife present, and while we feel that freebirth needs to be a positive choice to make women prepared and safe, it is always your decision to birth where, how and with who you feel safest. Our postnatal package would be immediate postnatal attendance, meaning once your baby and placenta are born, we can set off to see you. We are (I know, illogically) legally unable to give birth advice over the phone, or emergency help during birth however. It would purely be postnatal attendance. The price for this is £250 and any extra visits after that are £110, or you could default to a full postnatal package which includes unlimited visits, as described below.

 Our full antenatal care is £1650, our postnatal care (which would include this immediate post birth attendance) is £1650, the antenatal and postnatal package is currently £3300.  Please note that if you book a package of care and complexities arise in your pregnancy or postnatal journey there are no additional costs in terms of extra visits from us, liaising with additional services or where we accompanying you to hospital appointments. If you would prefer to pay for single visits the initial booking appointment costs £220 with subsequent visits costing £110 each.

We also offer one off visits for £110, though they would be basic antenatal checks and we would refer you to NHS service if not straightforward….  anything else would require a booking for an antenatal package of care.


 We charge mileage for the number of miles over 30 from our office base of Y061 2RN, at 90p per mile (to allow for return trip, so actually 45p per ‘actual’ mile), using http://www.theaa.com/driving/mileage-calculator.jsp to calculate the number of miles. For a flat mileage package we multiply by our average number of visits which is 25. We can be more precise with your postcode. You can opt instead to pay for the actual visits you have, so you’d be better off if you had less than the average but worse off if you have more.


 Normally, the first £500 is payable on booking to begin to cover our work. After that, or if that is not possible, people usually set up a direct debit for monthly or weekly payments that fit into their budget. Flexible payment plans really are fine and we do not charge interest. We want it to be manageable.

 Let us know if you are interested in a consultation, which implies no commitment to book.

 If you haven’t already found one, your local peer run homebirth or birth choices group can be a hugely valuable source of information about what’s what in the birth world in your area. Most have a facebook group, and most meet monthly. If you’re having trouble finding one in your area let us know and we can put you in touch.

Also the Independent Midwives UK have collectively written to NHS England to offer our services if they are willing to cover us with indemnity……the response to this has been that women need to demonstrate demand to their local trust to make this possible, and it IS up to local trusts to organise. So DO consider contacting your local trust to see if this is something they can accommodate.

We are really sorry this is so vague and potentially entirely unhelpful for your needs!

Stay well,
The Storks