Care Quality Commission chairman to stand down

The chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Baroness Young, is to stand down from 1 February.

Barbara Young will stand down in February

The Guardian is reporting a Health Service Journal story that she quit after a 'difficult' meeting with health secretary Andy Burnham when it emerged investigators were being sent into an Essex hospital because dozens of patients are thought to have died due to inadequate care.

A month earlier, the CQC had rated the quality of care at the hospital as good, leading to a row about the CQC's credibility.

Barbara Young said: ‘Having overseen the major task of creating a single regulator for health and social care and pointed it in the right direction, I have decided that it will be for others to take it forward. I wish all success to the Commission and its staff and to Dame Jo Williams who has agreed to act as chairman until a successor is appointed. Jo will start to take up the reins in January.'

Shadow Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘I believe Barbara Young wanted to end the flawed Healthcheck assessment system and to have better enforcement powers alongside the registration system from April. Her decision to leave before April demonstrates the breakdown that has happened between Labour ministers and their flagship regulator.'

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: ‘We hope Baroness Young's departure will not cause any setbacks to the progress the CQC is making in developing a regulatory system which all parties have confidence in.'

Editor's blog: Taking NHS statistics and my marathon record with a pinch of salt

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