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Head of CQC resigns

23rd February 2012

Cynthia Bower has resigned as chief executive of the health and social care regulatory body the Care Quality Commission.

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Her decision came as a government report, which was critical of its work, was published.

The CQC has faced a series of criticisms in recent months over the exposure of abuse of residents at the Winterbourne View Care Home, during the public inquiry into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust and in reports by the Health Select Committee and the National Audit Office.

Announcing her departure, Cynthia Bower said: “After almost four years leading CQC, I feel that it is now time to move on. The process of setting up an entirely new system of regulation has been intensely challenging - but we have accomplished an enormous amount.

“We have merged three organisations, registered 40,000 provider locations and brought virtually the entire health and social care network under one set of standards, which focus on the needs of people who use services.”

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “I would like to thank Cynthia for her work and leadership and wish her the best of luck for the future.

“Over the last year, we have seen CQC make improvements and respond to the need for enhanced scrutiny and enforcement of standards.”

Current CQC board member Kay Sheldon said it was “the right decision” but Cynthia Bower should have left earlier given the “serious and ongoing problems the organisation has faced.”

The Patients Association said while the CQC’s work had improved, it still needed to do more to tackle poor care.

 

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