Patient safety

27.01.17

CQC chief inspector of hospitals announces retirement

The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has announced his forthcoming retirement this summer.

Sir Mike became the CQC’s first chief inspector of hospitals in July 2013 and led the implementation of the regulator’s new five-point based inspection strategy, assessing services on whether they are safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led.

Every NHS trust in the country has now been inspected using the innovative approach, leading to the CQC and the health secretary Jeremy Hunt to laud Sir Mike’s contribution to the commission.

“As we have now completed the first round of inspections of all NHS trusts, it feels like the right time to hand the baton on to someone else,” Sir Mike said.  “When I came to the CQC, I recognised the scale of the challenge ahead – so to have inspected all NHS hospitals resulting in a baseline on quality that is unique to anywhere in the world feels like a like a major achievement.

“We have laid the strong foundations that will ensure that the next phase of hospital regulation will continue to help providers to drive improvement and to ensure that people receive good, safe care.”

The CQC’s chief executive Sir David Behan praised Sir Mike’s work as the CQC’s first chief inspector of hospitals, saying that he has “helped to transform our national understanding of the quality and safety of hospital care”.

Sir David added that these inspections will play an important role in safeguarding quality as hospital leaders face increasing financial pressure and in strengthening the CQC’s future assessments.

“The unprecedented baseline understanding of quality which allows us to take these next steps will stand as Mike’s legacy to the NHS and to the people who lead, work in and use it,” he said.

The health secretary Jeremy Hunt added that history will judge Sir Mike “to be as transformative a figure in raising standards in hospitals” as the former Ofsted chief inspector Chris Woodhead was in education.

Sir Mike was a hospital doctor for over 20 years, serving as a consultant medical oncologist between 1986 and 1995 and as professor of palliative medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals between 1995 and 1999.

He later became the first national cancer director at the Department of Health in 1999, leading the development and implementation of several national cancer strategies, and was director for reducing premature mortality on NHS England’s predecessor the NHS Commissioning Board in 2012 before assuming his position at the CQC. He was awarded a CBE in 2001 and a knighthood in 2010.

The CQC will begin the process to recruit Sir Mike’s replacement shortly, with him set to remain in post until his successor commences in the role.

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Comments

Minh Alexander   28/01/2017 at 13:37

I have some questions for the CQC. When did CQC and Mike Richards first learn of the fraud investigation against Paula Vasco-Knight? Was it before, or after, Mike Richards wrote to St. Georges on 16 February 2016 to say that there was no problem with FPPR process? https://minhalexander.com/2017/01/27/cqc-a-chief-inspector-doesnt-call/

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