Robert Francis is to join the board of the Care Quality Commission, the regulator is set to announce.

Mr Francis led the public inquiry into the scandal of poor care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, the report of which was published last year and was widely viewed as a watershed moment in the NHS’s approach to care quality.

The government’s response to his inquiry included a major overhaul of the CQC’s approach to inspection.

Mr Francis’ appointment as a CQC non-executive director is due to be announced today.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Francis said: “The CQC has a vital contribution to make towards people getting safe, compassionate and effective care. I am pleased to see that many of the recommendations I made in my reports on Mid Staffordshire for cultural change in the healthcare system and the CQC itself are being adopted.

“I hope to make a positive contribution to the work of CQC, supporting its current direction of travel and representing its work and its continuing development as a role model of transparency and openness.”

Mr Francis continues to practice as a barrister in the field of medical law, where he has been a queen’s counsel for more than 20 years, and last November joined the Patients Association as honorary president.

He is also a trustee of the Point of Care Foundation and the Prostrate Cancer Research Centre, and patron of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

CQC chair David Prior said: “The appointment of Robert Francis makes a very clear statement – the interests of patients, all those who receive care and their relatives will be at the heart of everything that CQC does.”

Meanwhile, Paul Rew, a former partner at accountancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, has also been appointed as a CQC non-executive, and chair of its audit and risk committee.

He is currently non-executive director at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Met Office and Northumbrian Water, and a member of the advisory board of Exeter University Business School.

The appointments have been made by the health secretary and replace Steve Hitchens and John Harwood, who have both departed from the board in recent months.

Both men will serve a term of office of three years.