Cynthia Bower has been appointed chief executive of the Care Quality Commission. The NHS West Midlands chief executive will take up her new job on 1 August.
The appointment - first revealed on hsj.co.uk - means Ms Bower will earn at least£190,000 a year heading the new health and social care regulator.
“This job will allow me to bring together the totality of my lifetime working experiences,” she said. “I hope to bring that experience, coupled with great energy and enthusiasm, into this new organisation.”
The CQC will take on the regulatory role of the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission. Ms Bower is considered ideal as chief executive because of her background in social care and health (see below).
Bryan Stoten, chair of Warwickshire primary care trust and the NHS Confederation, said he had known Ms Bower for many years and that she was “very idiosyncratic and creative and a remarkable woman”.
West Midlands-based Heart of England foundation trust chief executive Mark Goldman said Ms Bower’s broad experience made her “the perfect choice”. But he added that her departure would be a loss to the region. “It will be hard to get someone of her calibre to take on the SHA,” he said.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals trust chief executive John Adler described Ms Bower as motivated, determined, straightforward and “focused on quality of care”.
General Social Care Council chair Sir Rodney Brooke welcomed the appointment of “someone who will balance the interests of health with social care”.
However, Managers in Partnership chief executive Jon Restell said Ms Bower would face a major challenge establishing the commission in the minds of managers and patients.
The legislation that will create the CQC passed through its final stage in Parliament this week. The regulator will launch in a shadow form in October and go live in April next year.
Cynthia Bower’s CV
Began career in social care
Became assistant director of social services at Birmingham city council in 1992
Moved into NHS in 1995 and became director of primary care at Birmingham health authority in 1998
Appointed chief executive of Birmingham Specialist Community Health trust in 2000
Became chief executive of South Birmingham PCT in 2002
Managing director of Birmingham and the Black Country SHA in 2005, became chief executive in July 2006
March 2007 appointed chief executive of NHS West Midlands