CQC chief exec and ‘exceptional leader’ David Behan to step down after six years

Sir David Behan, chief executive of the CQC has announced that he will relinquish his role in the summer, after six years in the post.

Behan, who received a knighthood in 2017’s New Year’s Honours list, has been working in the health and social care sector for over 40 years.

He has made the decision to reveal his intentions now in order to allow CQC bosses to find a replacement in good time.

“It's been an immense privilege to serve the public by leading the CQC, and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved,” Behan said.

“We’ve inspected every hospital, adult social care provider and GP practice in the country – over 28,000 services and providers – and in the process developed a baseline on quality that is unique to anywhere in the world.

“Our annual State of Care publication is recognised as an authoritative overview of the quality of England’s health and care services, and the National Audit Office recently recognised the progress we have made as an organisation. I now feel it’s time to move on, to make a contribution in a different way and to allow someone else to lead the organisation to the next stage of its development.”

Behan was previously the director general of social care in local government and care partnerships at the DH, where he was a member of the NHS Management Board; the president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), and the first chief inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Following the announcement, health and social care secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: “David has been an exceptional leader, and we are lucky to have had him at the helm at such a transformational period in the regulator’s history.

“He is highly respected across the sector for his wisdom, drive and fearless determination to put patients first.

“He deserves great credit for overhauling healthcare regulation in this country to put quality and safety at the heart of the ratings system. He should be incredibly proud of his record, and will be sorely missed.”

Behan appeared in the September/October 2016 edition of NHE, speaking about the way services could improve, and how they could increase staff satisfaction levels.

Peter Wyman, chair of CQC and responsible for choosing Behan’s replacement, said he would not be talking fully of the CEO’s career until he officially leaves his post in the summer.

However, he did comment: “I will only say that David’s unique combination of passion, vision and deep understanding of the health and care system - along with his personal commitment to putting people at the heart of everything we do - have led CQC to become a catalyst for change that improves the quality of people’s care.”

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