It was announced today that David Prior, the chair of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has been appointed to the position of parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department of Health.
He has taken up this post with immediate effect and will therefore step aside from his role as chair of CQC. The search for a permanent replacement has begun, and Michael Mire, a current CQC Board member, will chair next week’s board meeting.
Prior was elected as a member of parliament for the Conservative party in north Norfolk in 1997 and went on to be deputy chairman and CEO of the Conservative party. He was also on the select committee for trade and industry. From 2002 to 2013 Prior was chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and in 2013 he became the chair of the CQC.
David Prior said: “I am enormously excited about this new appointment. However it is a bittersweet moment for me because I have loved working at CQC for the last two and a half years. It has been a great privilege to work with so many talented staff who are committed to improving the lives of people who use health and care services.
“I believe that the new regulatory model we have developed will not just identify poor care, but also stimulate and encourage services to improve. In David Behan, the CQC has an exceptional chief executive, and his leadership, supported by the executive team and the board, will ensure that the organisation continues to build on the progress already made,” he said today.
David Behan, chief executive of CQC, said: “David’s experience and insight will be a fantastic addition to the ministerial team. The news of his appointment is, however, tinged with sadness as it means that we will be losing a fantastic chair, whose direction and challenge has helped CQC to make huge strides in delivering real benefits for people who use services. David can be justly proud of his crucial role in shaping the organisation into one that is more effective and more responsive to people’s needs.”