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CQC appoints first chief inspector of general practice

Steve Field will lead regulation of primary care services

Adrian O'Dowd

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has appointed former RCGP chair Professor Steve Field to be its first ever chief inspector of general practice in England.

Professor Field’s new role involves championing the interests of people using primary medical services; making judgments about the quality of care provided; introducing a ratings system for registered primary care providers; and ensuring health and adult social care services join up.

The role is intended to lead on the overall inspection and regulation of primary care services across the public, private and independent sectors.

Professor Field, who is moving from his role at NHS England as deputy national medical director responsible for addressing health inequalities, said: “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. It’s an opportunity to make sure that all organisations are encouraged to live up to the standards of the best.

“I have had a long-standing commitment to address health inequalities and this role will enable me to ensure that primary medical services put this increasingly important issue high on their agendas. It will also allow me to focus on making sure that people receive health and care services that are integrated.”

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada said: “We are delighted that Professor Steve Field has been appointed to this role.

“As a GP and immediate past chair of the RCGP, he has a long history of service to general practice and to his patients. It is really encouraging that the role will be carried out by someone who understands GPs and the challenges we face in delivering the best possible patient care with diminishing budgets and resources.

“We know that Steve will champion general practice and the efforts of hardworking GPs in his new role and bring sense to the array of inspection regimes that GPs are already subjected to.

“We look forward to working with Steve to ensure GPs are given the resources and support we need to deliver safe and high quality care for our patients."

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “In Steve Field we have found a formidable chief inspector of general practice who will speak up for patients without fear or favour.

“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.”

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