NHS West Midlands chief executive Cynthia Bower has been appointed to head the Care Quality Commission, which will take over the regulation of health and adult social care in England next year.
Bower comes with experience of both sectors, having begun her career in social care, rising to become assistant director of social services at Birmingham Council before holding various senior positions in the NHS over the past decade. While her social care career was mainly in children’s services, she also has experience in developing mental health policy across health and social care and in intermediate care for older adults.
The CQC’s chair, Barbara Young, said: “Cynthia brings to us experience of leadership in both the social care and health sectors. She has great experience of organisational change and development and is committed to ensuring quality of services for users, patients, families and carers.”
Totality of experience
Bower added: “This job will allow me to bring together the totality of my lifetime working experiences within health and social care.”
The CQC will replace the Commission for Social Care Inspection, Healthcare Commission and Mental Health Act Commission next April. However, Bower will take up her appointment next month and the CQC will become a legal entity in October, though in “shadow” form.
Bower’s appointment is likely to temper concerns that the CQC will be health-dominated. General Social Care Council chair Rodney Brooke said: “Her wealth of experience in health and social care is extremely positive in terms of ensuring both joined-up regulation and parity of esteem between the two disciplines.”
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