Baroness Julia Cumberlege was born on the north west frontier of what was British India, where her father was a doctor. She has been happily married since the age of 17 and has 3 sons.
After a period in Local Government, Baroness Cumberlege was appointed to Chair the Brighton Health Authority and subsequently the South West Thames Regional Health Authority, where she made radical changes to mental health services. She was ennobled in 1990 and in 1992 was appointed a Junior Health Minister. For five years she covered all health matters in the House of Lords and chaired a review of community nursing which initiated nurses being able to prescribe and become registered. She was commissioned by two Governments to produce national reports entitled ‘Neighbourhood Nursing – a Focus for Care’ and ‘Changing Childbirth’.
She is currently in the implementation stage of a major NHS review of maternity services, Better Births.
In 2018 Baroness Cumberlege was asked to chair the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review which launched its report First Do No Harm in July 2020.