An expert commission launched by prime minister Gordon Brown is to review the place of nurses in managing and commissioning care.
Mr Brown has set up a panel including managers, senior nurses and politicians to look at how nurses and midwives could gain more freedom to manage, commission and run their own services.
The panel will identify areas where nurses and midwives need skills and support, consider how to expand their roles and advise on how the two professional groups can help implement policies to improve quality and safety.
The prime minister told HSJ’s sister title Nursing Times: "We must be bold in putting nursing in control and at the heart of our plans for a world class NHS."
Panel members include Chelsea and Westminster foundation trust chief executive Heather Lawrence and Blackburn with Darwen primary care trust chief Judith Griffin.
Ms Griffin, a former nurse, midwife, health visitor, and nursing director, said primary care was being improved "as a result of nurses at the front line identifying new ways of working that improve outcomes and patient experience".
Imperial College Healthcare trust nursing director Janice Sigsworth added: "This will build on the outcomes of the next stage review."
The commission will consult the profession, patients and the public and report to the prime minister by March 2010.