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Dame Muriel Betty Powell, DBE (1914-1978), was a British nurse, hospital matron, public servant and, briefly, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for the Scottish Home and Health Department (SHHD)



In 1947, aged 32, Miss Powell became matron at St George's Hospital. Her age reportedly "raised eyeborws" among the medical establishment, which deemed her too young for the position, but she proved her critics wrong and would remain there for more than two decades (22 years).

Powell was a member of the government committee that recommended the removal of the title "matron" from the National Health Service in 1968, although the title has since been gradually reintroduced to the NHS lexicon.[1]


The St George's Nurses League presents the Dame Muriel Powell Award to those who have made important contributions in the field of nursing in the name of the hospital's renowned and accomplished former matron. The most recent awardee was the nursing team at the Wolfson Neuro-rehabilitation Centre.


Miss Muriel Powell was knighted in 1968 for her services to nursing, including her tenure as matron of St George's Hospital, London.

External links


  • Thurgood, G. "Muriel Powell Remembered. A Profile of her Life", Journal of Nursing Management (July 2001)
  • Scott, Elizabeth J.C. "Dame Muriel Powell (1914-1978): role model of a hospital matron and leader of nursing". Journal of Medical Biography, Royal Society of Medicine publication; PMID 12522493 (as per the NCBI).


  1. ^ NCBI


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