The regulator said its chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care, Dr Rosie Benneyworth, was leaving to begin a new role as chief investigator at the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) from 1 August.
Since joining the CQC in January 2019, Dr Benneyworth has been responsible for ensuring people have access to safe, high quality care in general practice, dentistry, secure settings and children's services.
Before her appointment at the CQC, Dr Benneyworth had worked 15 years as a GP and held roles in clinical leadership, commissioning, patient safety and encouraging innovation.
CQC process 'unfair'
Dr Benneyworth’s departure comes less than six months after the CQC admitted that GP practices led by doctors from ethnic minorities may be 'disadvantaged' by its regulation process.
Meanwhile, GPonline revealed last year that practice staff had been ‘left in tears by CQC inspections’, with accounts collected by GPs labelling the experience as aggressive or unfairly negative and one report accusing an inspector of racist and sexist comments.
Her time in post has spanned throughout the pandemic - when inspection visits were called to a halt following pressure from the RCGP, BMA and GP leaders, after concerns that ‘continuing any routine inspections in the midst of a pandemic would have a significant adverse impact on the health service.'
Dr Benneyworth said: ‘Throughout my career I have been lucky to work with people who are committed to making sure that everyone gets the care that they need. I have seen this in both my colleagues at CQC and in the many dedicated providers that we regulate.
‘Looking to the future, I think CQC can help the emerging integrated care systems to develop truly person-focused services. Quality and safety needs to be at the heart of ICS development to ensure people get the health and care services they need in their local communities.
'We need to find new ways of working across the health and care system rapidly to meet the challenges we are facing now and in the future,’ she added.