Report of the Briggs Committee on Nursing

A unified statutory structure

A committee was set up in June 1970 with Professor Asa Briggs (later Lord Briggs) as chair to review the role of nurses and midwives in hospitals and in the community.

While the focus of the committee's report was mainly on education and training, it also proposed some measures regarding professional regulation. Briggs recommended there should be one national, statutory body for nurses, midwives and health visitors which should be responsible for setting standards and education and training.

Impact of the report

The complexity of the recommendations and the mutual impact on other structural changes that were happening in parallel meant that the recommendations were not accepted until 1974. The report served as the basis for the Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979.


Chapman C.
Report of the Committee on Nursing, Chairman: Professor Asa Briggs, Cmnd. 5115.
Journal of Social Policy.
1972; 2(3): 286–288.

House of Commons.
United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (Electoral Scheme) Order 1982.
HL Deb 30 July 1982 vol 434 cc503-7.
Hansard; 1982.