Regulator seeks chief executive with 'strong moral compass'

The job description, published this week, says regulator needs “someone exceptional” to replace Sir David, who announced last month that he would step down in the summer.


It says they must have “a strong moral compass and be trusted to act in the public interest first and foremost”. It adds: “Ultimately CQC needs a strong leader who is respected for their honesty, integrity and for doing the right thing.”

Interviews are scheduled for mid-April.

The job description says the successful applicant must be able to operate “autonomously… without seeking counsel from outside the CQC” because to do so could “compromise the independence” of its decisions.

The person specification says the role is “politically sensitive” and the chief executive should be able to “proactively influence the public debate on big policy and operational decisions” such as social care, mental health and winter pressures.

A letter to prospective applicants by CQC chair Peter Wyman says: “Getting the right individual for this role is crucial for patients and service users.” A letter from Sir David says the post is “one of the most exciting and challenging jobs in the public sector”.

The new chief executive will take over from Sir David halfway through the implementation of a five-year business plan. The advert says the CQC has “radically changed” the way it works since it finished its comprehensive inspections of all NHS providers, and says its new leader must have experience of “driving a transformation agenda”.

The new boss will join at a time when the CQC is grappling with how to inspect new models of care and investing £37m in technology and data use, amid huge pressure on standards quality in health and social care.

It says the salary is “attractive”. The CQC’s 2016-17 annual report shows Sir David Behan received around £230,000 including pension benefits.

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