§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultations he initiated or engaged in with the Royal College of Midwives, or any qualified midwife, concerning the content of the management guidance document distributed to general managers of Health 323W Service units in May; and what specific guidance was contained in this document in respect of the duties and grading of midwives.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The management guidance on implementation of the new clinical grading structure was the subject of extensive consultation with senior nurses and midwives and other managers in the National Health Service. It was managements' guidance to management about the implementation of a grading structure negotiated with the trades unions and I see no sensible reason why such guidance should have been the subject of consultation with staff side organisations. The guidance as a whole relates equally to nursing and midwifery posts because the grading structure as negotiated with the trades unions and endorsed by the independent review body relates equally to both.