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08.12.15

Yeovil Hospital boss appointed CQC chair

The chair of Yeovil District Hospital NHS FT, one of the 29 new models of care vanguards, has been appointed the new chair of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after a hearing by the Health Select Committee.

Peter Wyman was interviewed by eight committee members for nearly two hours on 1 December, where he answered questions about his career and his vision for the future of the CQC.

Wyman said his lack of clinical experience would not deter his success as chair, whose role is primarily to ensure processes are appropriate and fit for purpose, that staff are skilled and that resources are used effectively.

Asked about what he thought were the main challenges for the CQC in the next five years, he said they could be divided into three parts: one around the environment in which “we are all operating”, one about how the CQC responds to that environment, and another about what he called the “internal challenges within the CQC at the moment”.

“I think everybody in the room will be very familiar with the external environment, an ageing population, a growing population, a shortage of nurses, a shortage of doctors in many specialties, a shortage of care workers and financial constraints. All of that is going to drive new models of care. It is the only way that you can square the circle,” Wyman told committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston.

“That provides quite a lot of challenges for the CQC. In particular, it needs to work out how it is going to inspect in a way that absolutely fearlessly points out anything it finds that is wrong. I am not trying to duck any issues, but it needs to do that in a way that encourages people who are working in the health and care services to respond.

“Most of those people are proud to be doing the job they are doing, and if somebody told them that the next-door hospital is doing a better job than they are in this area, they will want to be competitive and up their game. That sort of reporting can go the other way and just demoralise everybody.”

The CQC’s chief executive, David Behan, welcomed the health secretary’s decision to appoint Wyman, saying he was confident that he would make a “telling contribution” to the inspectorate.

“Having been chair of Yeovil District Hospital for the last five years, Peter brings with him a great understanding of the healthcare landscape that we regulate, as well as a commitment to making sure people receive safe, high-quality and compassionate care,” he said.

“Also, I am sure Peter’s long and successful career at PwC will add value as we seek to become a more efficient and effective organisation over the next few years. I have found Peter to be very thoughtful, intelligent and warm in the way he relates to people. I very much look forward to working with him.”

Behan also paid tribute to Michael Mire, who has been acting as interim chair since May after the CQC’s former chair, David Prior, stepped down to become a government minister. Mire will now continue as a non-executive director.

Wyman, who will start his new job on 4 January, will join the inspectorate body at an interesting time, with fees set to grow, regulating strategies being overhauled and its slumping performance currently under fire.

(Top image shows Peter Wyman during the Health Commitee's pre-appointment hearing on 1 December)

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