On Monday 14 October Maternity Action began a judicial review of the policy of charging vulnerable migrant women for NHS maternity care. They are challenging the practice of issuing bills of £7,000 or more to destitute pregnant women, deterring them from attending essential health care appointments.
The challenge is broadly framed and has the potential to benefit a wide group of migrants, including those in receipt of local authority support.
Maternity Action is arguing for the Government to undertake the long overdue review of the impact of charging on equalities groups. They are also calling for a widening of the current exemptions to include:
· Destitute families (who are mostly lone mothers with children) who receive Section 17 support from their local authority
· Pregnant women and women with new born babies to access maternity care
· Victims of FGM, domestic and sexual violence to access all NHS care
Maternity Action says:
As well as all the work we have been doing on this judicial review since November 2018, we would like to give special thanks the many groups who have taken the time to speak to us about the challenge and to prepare evidence in support.
We have had a very skilled and committed legal team working on the challenge: Janet Farrell of Bhatt Murphy, Jason Coppel QC, Shu Shin Luh and Laura Profumo.
While our legal costs are covered, we are fundraising through CrowdJustice to cover our cost risk, which is estimated at £10,000.
This is a lot of money for a small charity, and comes on top of the already considerable investment of resources to prepare for the challenge.’
Please share this appeal at CrowdJustice through your networks and on social media and please forward to your local KONP groups if appropriate.
Here is the URL to copy and paste
Suggested social media content:
Maternity Action is challenging the Government’s policy of charging vulnerable migrant women for their #maternitycare. Give your support to their #judicialreview so #AllMothers can get the care they urgently need: https://www.crowdjustice.com/
Find out how Maternity Action’s research and campaigning has led to a legal challenge against the Government’s #NHS charging policy that impacts on vulnerable migrant women and their families #AllMothers #maternitycare https://
Please use these hashtags where appropriate.
You can read the statement on charges on the Maternity Action website here:
Keep Our NHS Public fully supports this campaign – please take a moment to do what you can.