§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons and at whose request his Department increased the level of fine upon conviction of a person other than a registered midwife or registered medical practitioner attending a woman in childbirth to £5,000; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The independent review of the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997 carried out by JM Consulting in 1998 noted that the level of fine for misuse of title was not as high as in other regulatory bodies and recommended that penalties should be raised. We accepted this recommendation, and this is reflected in draft legislation to establish a new Nursing and Midwifery Council. It will be for the court to decide what penalty to impose in any individual case taking into account all of the relevant circumstances.