The Care Quality Commission has appointed the wife of its transition director to a board level position as director of engagement.

Jill Finney is married to David Lane, who has been overseeing the merger between the Healthcare Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission. Ms Finney, who is strategic marketing and communications director at the British Library, starts her new role next month.

Her husband Mr Lane is also acting director of operations, in an interim board position. The commission is operating in shadow form until it becomes active in April. It has filled four out of seven board level positions.

It is still searching for a permanent director of operations, a director of finance and corporate services and a director of organisational development and human resources.

Best practice

The Nolan committee’s 1995 report Standards in Public Life set out the principles, such as accountability, required of public servants.

Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence chief executive Harry Cayton said: “In applying the seven principles of public life, it is clear that it is not just whether there is a conflict of interest, it is whether a conflict of interest might be perceived to exist. Regulatory bodies that set standards for others should aim to follow best practice themselves.”

A CQC spokesperson said Ms Finney was the best candidate for the position and that David Lane was at no stage involved in the recruitment process, managed by consultants GatenbySanderson.

The interviews were conducted by CQC chair Barbara Young and chief executive Cynthia Bower and observed by director of NHS communications Colin Douglas. Baroness Young, Ms Bower and Mr Lane were unavailable for comment.

  • Staff across the three commissions are waiting to hear whether their jobs are safe. Responding to a parliamentary question last week, health minister Ben Bradshaw said staff numbers at the CQC were being finalised. But a CQC spokesperson told HSJ that around 400 out of around 2,300 employees will be made redundant, mainly from regional offices. Around 200 new posts will be created at an office in the North East dealing with registration.