CQC chief inspector of general practice to step down in March 2019

CQC chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field will quit the role in March 2019, the watchdog has confirmed.

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

Professor Field had initially planned to leave the CQC in October this year, but agreed to stay on following the appointment of Ian Trenholm, who took over in July as chief executive from the outgoing Sir David Behan.

Mr Trenholm said: 'I am extremely grateful to Steve for extending his term of office by six months until March 2019, and supporting me as I joined this important organisation - this has allowed us to progress much of the local system review work and speaks to Steve’s dedication to making sure people get the high-quality, compassionate care that they deserve.

'I look forward to working with him over the coming months before me moves on to his next opportunity, which he will no doubt excel in. As for the CQC, we are continuing with plans to recruit to this exciting and important role.'

Former RCGP chair Professor Field became the first-ever CQC inspector of general practice in 2013, moving from a role as deputy medical director of NHS England to take up the post.

Highlighting good care

Speaking after his appointment, he called the role 'a wonderful opportunity to highlight what is good in general practice, and shine a light on what isn’t’.

However, in 2015 both the BMA and RCGP demanded his resignation, with then-RCGP chair Professor Maureen Baker hitting out at 'baffling and unfounded' negative comments about general practice from Professor Field.

Despite the fact that nine out of 10 GP practices have been rated good or outstanding by the CQC, Professor Field told the Daily Mail in 2015 that poor care by a small number of practices meant general practice had 'failed as a profession'.

Professor Baker said after the remarks: 'He repeatedly makes sensationalist and non-evidenced claims about how bad the level of patient care is – which must inevitably scare patients.'

Professor Field's own Birmingham practice was rated good by the CQC in November 2016, despite a 'requires improvement' score on the patient safety element of the inspection.

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