CQC chief to chair hospital trust taking over 18 GP practices

The CQC's chief inspector of general practice has been appointed to chair a West Midlands hospital trust involved in the takeover of 18 GP practices.

Professor Steve Field (Photo: Pete Hill)
Professor Steve Field (Photo: Pete Hill)

Professor Steve Field, due to step down as CQC chief inspector of general practice next month, will take over from 1 April as chair of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

GPonline reported last year that the hospital trust had taken over 10 practices and was in the process of taking over a further eight - with a view to fully integrating primary and secondary care across a population of around 100,000 patients.

The trust has become a beacon for other NHS organisations considering full integration between primary and secondary care - with bosses from 17 health economies around England reported to have contacted the West Midlands trust with a view to replicating its 'vertical integration' plans.

The Wolverhampton scheme requires practices to give up their independent contractor status and become subcontracted to the trust, with partners becoming salaried employees.

GP contract

GP leaders warned earlier this month that practices should not be pressured into giving up their existing contracts, following government changes to legislation that allow practices to join area-wide integrated care provider deals.

Professor Field said: 'I am delighted to have been appointed as chair of the Trust. I was born in the Black Country and many of my family live locally. I am looking forward to supporting the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to continue on their journey and I will work closely with partner organisations across the area to ensure the population of Wolverhampton and the Black Country receive the best possible integrated healthcare.'

Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust chief executive David Loughton said: 'I am delighted to welcome Professor Steve Field as our new chair. Steve has a wealth of experience in numerous high profile roles at a regional and national level; he will be a tremendous asset in the development of the Black Country strategic transformation programme.'

Former RCGP chair Professor Field became the first-ever CQC chief inspector of general practice in 2013.

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