Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1997 c. 24


Nurses, Midwives and HealthVisitors Act 1997

1997 CHAPTER 24

An Act to consolidate the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979 and the enactments amending it.

[19th March 1997]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

The Central Council

The Central Council

S-1 Constitution of Central Council.

1 Constitution of Central Council.

(1) There shall continue to be a corporate body known as the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting.

(2) Subject to any order under paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to this Act, the Council shall consist of sixty members.

(3) Two-thirds of the members of the Council (‘elected members’) shall be appointed by the Secretary of State on being elected under the electoral scheme, that is to say, the scheme having effect under the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (Electoral Scheme) Order 1992 (with any variations under paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 to this Act).

(4) Appointments otherwise than for the purposes of subsection (3) shall be made by the Secretary of State from among persons who—

(a) are registered nurses, midwives, health visitors or medical practitioners or

(b) have such qualifications and experience in education or other fields as, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, will be of value to the Council in the performance of its functions.

(5) In making appointments for the purposes of subsection (4) the Secretary of State shall have especially in mind—

(a) the need to secure that the members of the Council include registered nurses, midwives and health visitors and persons living or working in each part of the United Kingdom and

(b) the need to secure that qualifications and experience in the teaching of nursing, midwifery and health visiting are adequately represented on the Council.

(6) The Council shall have a president and a vice-president appointed by the Council from among its members.

(7) Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the constitution and administration etc. of the Council.

(8) For the purposes of subsection (3), a person appointed as a replacement for an elected member shall be treated as an elected member.

S-2 Functions of the Council.

2 Functions of the Council.

(1) The principal functions of the Central Council shall be to establish and improve standards of training and professional conduct for nurses, midwives and health visitors.

(2) The Council shall ensure that the standards of training it establishes are such as to meet any Community obligation of the United Kingdom.

(3) The Council shall by means of rules determine the conditions of a person's being admitted to training, and the kind, content and standard of training to be under taken, with a view to registration.

(4) The rules may also make provision with respect to the kind, content and standard of further training available to persons who are already registered.

(5) The powers of the Council shall include that of providing, in such manner as it thinks fit, advice for nurses, midwives and health visitors on standards of professional conduct.

(6) In the discharge of its functions the Council shall have proper regard for the interests of all groups within t he professions, including those with minority representation.

S-3 Standing committees of Council.

3 Standing committees of Council.

(1) The Secretary of State shall by order constitute as standing committees of the Council a Midwifery Committee and a Finance Committee.

(2) The Council shall consult the Finance Committee on all financial matters.

(3) If the Council (having regard to the duty imposed by section 2(6)) requests the Secretary of State to do so, he may by order constitute other standing committees of the Council and (to the extent prescribed by the order) require the Council to consult them on, or empower them to discharge functions of the Council with respect to, other matters.

(4) An order constituting a standing committee of the Council—

(a) may provide for persons who are not members of the Council to be appointed as members of that committee and

(b) shall provide for a majority on the committee to be persons who work or have worked in the professional field with which it is primarily concerned.

S-4 The Midwifery Committee.

4 The Midwifery Committee.

(1) Of the members of the Council's Midwifery Committee the majority shall be practising midwives.

(2) The Council shall consult the Committee on all matters relating to midwifery and the Committee shall, on behalf of the Council, discharge such of the Council's functions as are assigned to the Committee either by the Council or by the Secretary of State by order.

(3) The Council shall assign to the Committee any matter involving a proposal to make, amend or revoke rules under section 14 below and the Committee shall consider the proposal and report on it to the Council.

(4) The Secretary of State shall not approve rules relating to midwifery practice unless satisfied that they are framed in accordance with recommendations of the Council's Midwifery Committee.

(5) Any matter which is assigned to the Midwifery Committee otherwise than under subsection (3) shall be finally dealt with by the Committee on behalf of the Council so far as the Council expressly auth orises the Committee to deal finally with it and the Committee shall make a report to the Council as to the way in which it has dealt with the matter.

The National Boards and their relationship to the Central Council

The National Boards and their relationship to the Central Council

S-5 Constitution of National Boards.

5 Constitution of National Boards.

(1) England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland shall each continue to have a National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, and the Boards shall be corporate bodies.

(2) A National Board shall consist of—

(a) a chairman appointed by the Secretary of State from among persons who are registered nurses, midwives or health visitors

(b) such number of other members appointed by the Secretary of State as he may specify by order

(c) the person for the time being appointed in pursuance of subsection (7)(a) to be the chief executive officer of the Board and

(d) any person for the time being appointed in pursuance of subsection (7)(b) to an office under the Board which is specified for the purposes of this paragraph by the Secretary of State by order.

(3) Appointments to a National Board for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) shall be made from among persons who—

(a) are registered nurses, midwives or health visitors or

(b) have such qualifications and experience in education or other fields as, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, will be of value to the Board in the performance of its functions.

(4) The Secretary of State shall so exercise his powers under this section as to secure in relation to a National Board that a majority of the members of the Board are registered nurses, midwives or health visitors.

(5) The Secretary of State may, with the consent of the Treasury—

(a) pay such remuneration as he thinks fit to any person who is a member of a National Board by virtue of appointment by the Secretary of State and

(b) make such provision as he thinks fit for the payment to or in respect of any such person of pensions, allowances or gratuities.

(6) A National Board may pay to its chairman and members and to other persons appointed to serve on its standing and other committees, such travelling and other allowances as the Secretary of State may determine with the approval of the Treasury.

(7) A National Board shall have—

(a) a chief executive officer, and

(b) such other officers as the Secretary of State may by order specify for the purposes of this paragraph,

appointed by the Board.

(8) The Secretary of State may by order make such further provision with respect to the constitution and administration of a National Board as he thinks fit.

(9) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (8), provision under that subsection may include provision—

(a) with respect to qualification for membership

(b) for the appointment of a deputy chairman and with respect to his powers

(c) with respect to the tenure of office of the chairman, deputy chairman and other members

(d) with respect to the appointment of officers

(e) requiring payments to employees, and provision for the payment of pensions, allowances or gratuities to or in respect of them, to be such as the Secretary of State may, with the consent of the Treasury, approve

(f) requiring powers with respect to the employment of staff to be exercised in accordance with written directions of the Secretary of State

(g) with respect to procedure, including the constitution of committees

(h) authorising the appointment of persons who are not Board members to committees of the Board.

(10) Orders under subsection (8) may include provision with respect to proof of documents.

(11) Orders under this section may make different provision in relation to different Boards.

S-6 Functions of Boards.

6 Functions of Boards.

(1) The National Boards shall in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively—

(a) approve institutions in relation to the provision of—

(i) courses of training with a view to enabling persons to qualify for registration as nurses, midwives or health visitors or for the recording of additional qualifications in the register and

(ii) courses of further training...

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