Prime minister Gordon Brown has launched a sweeping review of the future of nursing.

Mr Brown has set up a panel of experts, including managers, senior nurses and politicians, to explore 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 - including by giving them more freedom - and advise on how the two professional groups can help implement policies to improve the quality and safety of patient care as set out in High Quality Care for All.

Panel members

Panel members include Chelsea and Westminster foundation trust chief executive Heather Lawrence, Blackburn with Darwen PCT chief executive Judith Griffin and Central Surrey Health joint managing director Jo Pritchard. Health minister Ann Keen will be its chair.

Mr Brown told HSJ's sister title Nursing Times, which broke the story: "Nursing has been central to the transformation in standards of care in the NHS over recent years. We must be bold in putting nursing in control and at the heart of our plans for a world class NHS."

The commission will consult with the profession, patients and the public over the coming months in a series of events to take place around the country.

It will report to the prime minister by March 2010.