An independent midwife and former president of the Royal College of Midwives has been cautioned by the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting after being found guilty of three charges of serious professional misconduct.

Caroline Flint, a pioneer of the independent midwifery movement and a staunch supporter of natural childbirth, was charged after the death of baby Alicia Wright, whom she delivered at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in 1995.

The formal caution remains against her name for five years.

In an unprecedented step, the UKCC distributed a statement by the baby's parents that they had not intended the case to be an attack on independent midwifery.

'We hope that parents in a similar situation would contact the UKCC, instead of just taking civil action, as this is the route by which standards of care are maintained and improved,' the parents said.