Julia Cumberlege was appointed to the House of Lords in 1990. Her committee memberships reflect her background in health care provision: she is Chair of the Health Group (2001-), Vice-chair of the Pharmacy Group (2005-) and Maternity Group (2000-), and a member of the Osteoporosis Group (2001-). In addition to her work in the Lords, Cumberlege chairs Cumberlege Connections, her own consultancy company. She is also a council member of Sussex University (2001-), a Member of the NHS Policy Board for England (1989-), Vice-President of the Royal College of Nursing (1989-) and Executive Director of MJM Health care Solutions. Cumberlege was last on her party’s frontbench in 1997 as Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Health. During this time she Chaired the Review of Maternity Services for England, delivering the Changing Childbirth report in 1993. Cumberlege gained the role in 1992, whilst still Chair of the South West Thames Regional Health Authority (1988-92).
Before being raised to the peerage in 1990 Cumberlege worked in public health. She was a member of the Department of Health and Social Services’ Expert Advisory Group on AIDS (1987-89) and also spent several years Chairing Brighton Health Authority (1981-88). She led a Review of Community Nursing for England during this time, producing the Neighbourhood Nursing report in 1985. In addition to this, Cumberlege has served as a councillor. Between 1974 and 85 she was a member of East Sussex County Council, Chairing the Social Services Committee from 1979 until 82, and between 1966 and 79 she served on Lewes District Council, leading it during her penultimate year there. Cumberlege was born in 1943.