The Commons health select committee has endorsed the appointment of Dame Jo Williams as Care Quality Commission chair.

The decision follows the committee’s tough questioning of Dame Jo at a pre-appointment hearing last week.

A report setting out the committee’s observations states: “The challenging nature of the reorganisation process [merging three regulators into one] and the need to ensure continuity is a specific reason for our support of Dame Jo’s candidacy.”

It adds: “We agree with Dame Jo that although the CQC has made encouraging progress in many areas of its agenda, a substantial number of issues remain.”

Five specific concerns are highlighted:

  • The need for processes to encourage NHS whistleblowers
  • The importance of ‘soft data’ in assessing care
  • A shortage of doctors to provide second opinions under sections 57 and 58 of the Mental Health Act
  • The significant responsibilities placed with the CQC regarding HealthWatch.

The committee wants to review the CQC’s work annually and has asked Dame Jo, who has been interim chair since the resignation of Baroness Barbara Young in January, to appear again next summer.