Julia Cumberlege, Baroness Cumberlege

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The Baroness Cumberlege

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security
In office
14 April 1992 – 2 May 1997
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byThe Baroness Hooper
Succeeded byTessa Jowell
(as minister of state)
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
18 May 1990
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1943-01-27) January 27, 1943 (age 76)
Political partyConservative

Julia Frances Cumberlege, Baroness Cumberlege, CBE, DSG, DL (born 27 January 1943) is a British Conservative Party politician and businesswoman. She was created a life peer in 1990 as Baroness Cumberlege, of Newick in the County of East Sussex.


She produced a report in 1986 which, among other things, recommended that nurses should be able to prescribe some drugs.[1]

Coming from a medical family, in 1992 she was appointed a Junior Health Minister and for five years covered all health and social services matters in the House of Lords. She was also the Sponsor Minister for the city of Plymouth responsible for regeneration and a budget of £45 million per year. In 1997 she was Opposition Spokesperson for Health.

In the House of Lords in 2000 on the subject of the Britain's National Health Service, remarking that "We are all trapped in a marvellously pure ideology, the ideal socialist dream", she advocated removing the requirement that the NHS be free at the point of use, replacing it with "an NHS insurance premium", and that "allowances could be made for those with private insurance and private expertise could be used". She also said that "The NHS ought not to exclude as a matter of principle the private sector" stating that "Competition is both a spur and a discipline". She said the government should try "putting a hospital or two under private management", noting private prisons as a "precedent", but that "If that is a bridge too far, we could try running one or more trusts as co-operatives with staff owning all the shares".[2]

In 2010 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal College of Nursing.[3]

She conducted a review of maternity services for NHS England in 2015. Better Births, the report of the review, recommended that all women should have the choice to give birth where they want, with the support of the same midwife throughout pregnancy, labour and the early weeks of motherhood, with control over a personal maternity care budget of £3,000 to be spent on the NHS care they choose.[4]

Business venture[edit]

In 2001 she launched her own company, Cumberlege Connections Ltd.


Religious views[edit]

A Roman Catholic, she spoke at the Catholic Medical Association (formerly the Guild of Catholic Doctors)'s conference in Bristol in April 2009, officiated by Archbishop Peter Smith.[6]

Sex abuse in the Catholic Church[edit]

In 2006-07, Lady Cumberlege chaired a commission reviewing the approach of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to child protection.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Nurse prescribing: current status and future developments" (PDF). Nursing Times. 27 April 2004. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  2. ^ Westminster, Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Lords,. "Lords Hansard text for 2 Feb 2000 (200202-03)". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  3. ^ Rolls of Honour, Royal College of Nursing, 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  4. ^ "National maternity review calls for £3,000 'birth budgets'". Guardian. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  5. ^ https://www.iolanthe.org/about/our-team/baroness-julia-cumberlege
  6. ^ April 2009 Catholic Medical Association conference Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]