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CQC begins search for ‘someone exceptional’ to replace Behan

The CQC has started its hunt for a new CEO this week to replace outgoing boss Sir David Behan, who is leaving his position after six years.

The regulator says the successful choice will be someone who has a track record of driving change as well as the “political sensitivity” to deal with shareholders and experience of either health or local government.

Peter Wyman, chair of the commission, said searching for a new CEO would be the “single most important decision” he would take as chair and was clear that the candidate would need to be “someone exceptional” to replace Behan.

A former social care and local government boss within the Department of Health & Social Care, Behan oversaw a transition within the CQC as national services began to look towards integrated care. He was also the helm when the organisation implemented its five-year strategy, signalling a major change towards more targeted inspections

He announced earlier this month that he would be stepping down in the summer to allow the board time to find a replacement.

Explaining the importance of the role, Wyman said: “The work of the CQC really does matter. We enable the public and services users to make informed choices about their care.

“We protect the most vulnerable in society and take action where care falls below the fundamental standards of quality and safety that we publish and regulate against. We use our independent voice to influence the public debate on critically important issues such as the tipping point in social care or the mental health provision for young people and children.

“We work collaboratively with other health and social care organisations to positively influence how the system works together for the benefit of the public.”

The organisation employs around 3,000 people, and the CEO would take control of a budget of approximately £200m.

Describing the role, the CQC said that any successful candidate would be a “strong leader who is respected for their honesty, integrity and for doing the right thing.” It also emphasised that the body needed to be able to operate independently, meaning the leader needs to be able to work “without seeking counsel from outside the CQC.”

In addition, Behan said: “It has been my privilege to lead CQC since 2012. It has been one of the most exciting and rewarding times of my career. As the independent regulator of health and social care services, it has been our task to ensure people receive safe, high-quality care.”

Further information on the position can be found on the regulator’s website, with the closing date set for 5 March.

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