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Guidance: Improving access to maternity care for women affected by charging

Maternity Action, part of the VCSE Health & Wellbeing Alliance, and the Royal College of Midwives have produced guidance to assist NHS Trusts in minimising the negative impacts of charging on migrant women’s access to maternity care.

The guidance will be of use to Overseas Visitor Managers, Directors and Heads of Midwifery, and NHS staff caring for migrant women. It covers various aspects of policy and practice within NHS Trusts. The guidance is based on the following set of objectives:

  • Women should not be deterred from seeking maternity care by the charging practices of NHS Trusts.
  • Women should not be refused maternity care or face delays in accessing care for any reason relating to charging practices.
  • Women who are able to pay for their maternity care should be offered realistic repayment arrangements, which can be revisited when their circumstances change.
  • Women who are not able to pay for their maternity care should have their charges written off, without negative impacts on any future immigration applications.
  • Women affected by charging should have access to free, independent legal advice.

The guidance can be downloaded here.