Cynthia Bower quits health watchdog

Cynthia Bower, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) today announced her resignation.

Cynthia Bower said: ‘After almost four years leading CQC, I feel that it is now time to move on. The process of setting up an entirely new system of regulation has been intensely challenging – but we have accomplished an enormous amount. We have merged three organisations, registered 40,000 provider locations and brought virtually the entire health and social care network under one set of standards, which focus on the needs of people who use services.

‘I am pleased that the Department of Health Performance and Capability review, published today, recognises the scale of what has been achieved – and in particular the significant improvements made over the last nine months. I’m confident that CQC will continue to build on the progress already made, delivering  increasing benefits to people who use services by shining a light on poor care – and I am proud to have played a part in this.’

Jo Williams, chair of the CQC, said: ‘I am very sorry that Cynthia has decided to move on, but I understand her desire to take on new challenges. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for the enormous contribution she has made to the setting up and running of CQC. She has shown tireless commitment to this organisation, and she leaves it in a strong position to carry out our essential role in tackling poor care. This is confirmed by today’s Performance Review from the Department of Health, which recognises CQC’s “considerable achievements” in setting the essential platform from which tougher regulatory action can be taken.’

Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive, said: ‘I would like to thank Cynthia for her commitment as CQC Chief Executive.  Building a new regulator involves great vision, leadership and resilience.  This is always a complex task and one under constant scrutiny.  It is great credit to Cynthia’s leadership to have achieved this.’

Cynthia Bower has agreed with the chair that she will remain in post until autumn 2012 to allow for an appropriate handover. The recruitment process for her successor will begin shortly.

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