Former head of the Royal College of GPs joins the Care Quality Commission
A former head of the Royal College of GPs has been appointed the first Chief Inspector of General Practice.
Professor Steve Field, who still practises in Birmingham, joins the Care Quality Commission (CQC) from NHS England where he was deputy national medical director responsible for addressing health inequalities.
In his new role, he will “champion the interests of people using GP and dental services”, the CQC said.
Prof Field will oversee the CQC’s inspection and regulation of all providers of primary care, including public, private and independent sectors.
He will also introduce a new ratings system to identify both good and poor care.
Prof Field said: “I am thrilled at being appointed the first Chief Inspector of General Practice in England. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to highlight what’s good in general practice and dentistry, and to shine a light on what isn’t.
“It’s an opportunity to make sure that all organisations are encouraged to live up to the standards of the best.
“I have had a long-standing commitment to address health inequalities and this role will enable me to ensure that primary medical services put this increasingly important issue high on their agendas.
“It will also allow me to focus on making sure that people receive health and care services that are integrated.
Prof Field is a GP at Bellevue Medical Centre in Edgbaston, a practice which is involved in research and health care education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
He was postgraduate medical dean and head of workforce development for the NHS in the West Midlands and was chairman of council of the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2007 and 2010.
He is honorary professor, medical education, University of Warwick, and honorary professor in the school of medicine, at the University of Birmingham.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “In Steve Field we have found a formidable Chief Inspector of General Practice who will speak up for patients without fear or favour.
“Steve will have the power and authority to judge how well each practice is serving patients, help us to celebrate the best practices, and take tough action where standards aren’t up to scratch.
“GP surgeries are the bedrock of our NHS... I am determined that patients who rely on them get the excellent service they deserve every time.”