Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979

The Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979 received royal assent on 4 April 1979.

The Act provided for the establishment of a central council for nursing, midwifery and health visiting (with national boards for the four countries of the UK) responsible for education, training, regulation and disciplinary action. The Act also required the council to establish and maintain a single professional register.

Establishment of the UKCC

The Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC) was established on 1 July 1983, when the Act came into force. The function of the UKCC was to:

  • maintain a register of UK nurses, midwives and health visitors
  • provide guidance to registrants
  • handle professional misconduct complaints.

It replaced the Central Midwives Board which had been established by the Midwives Act 1902.

Later developments

In April 2002, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) took over the functions of the UKCC and the English National Board's quality assurance functions. 

Source(s)

Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979.

The National Archives.
Records of the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (1980-2002) [webpage].
The National Archives; nd.