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Steve Field to lead inspection of primary care in England

Joins CQC as chief inspector of general practice

CQC Steve FieldEngland's Care Quality Commission (CQC) has named Prof Steve Field as the first chief inspector of general practice to ensure the quality of primary care in the country.

Prof Field joins from NHS England where he was its deputy national medical director responsible for addressing health inequalities, and in his new role will lead CQC's inspection and regulation of primary care across the public, private and independent sectors.

His appointment comes at a time of major scrutiny for the CQC after high profile failures in the UK's health system, and Prof Field is the latest in a line of figures hired by the CQC to form a senior team to lead improvements in the NHS.

The other members of the senior management team are Andrea Sutcliffe, who is chief inspector of adult social care, and Sir Mike Richards, who is chief inspector of hospitals.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, described Prof Field as a “formidable chief inspector of general practice who will speak up for patients without fear or favour”.

He added: “Steve will have the power and authority to judge how well each practice is serving patients, help us to celebrate the best practices, and take tough action where standards aren't up to scratch.”

Among Prof Field's tasks is to lead the introduction of a ratings system for registered primary care providers to identify both good and poor care to help users make a more informed choice about their healthcare provider.

“I see this as a wonderful opportunity to highlight what's good in general practice and dentistry, and to shine a light on what isn't,” said Prof Field.

“It's an opportunity to make sure that all organisations are encouraged to live up to the standards of the best.”

David Prior, chair of the CQC, explained the aims of the completed senior management team.

“Collectively that team will lead the changes to the way we work as a regulator, improving the way we ensure that health and care services are safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive to people's needs.”

Article by
Thomas Meek

3rd September 2013

From: Healthcare

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