Professor Sir Mike Richards, the previous chief inspector of hospitals, is to take up a new role at a leading health consultancy, it has been announced today.

Sir Mike will join Incisive Health as a senior counsel next month.

Mike Richards

Professor Sir Mike Richards left the CQC in July

He joined the Care Quality Commission as its first ever chief inspector of hospitals in 2013. Sir Mike’s departure from the CQC was announced in January.

He will work for Incisive Health “a few days a month”, the consultancy said, training staff and providing senior level advice to clients on issues such as how to drive clinical change.

At the CQC, Sir Mike introduced the current hospital inspection regime in the wake of the 2013 Francis report into the care scandal at Stafford Hospital. Before that he had senior clinical roles at NHS England and the Department of Health, including national cancer director.

He was a consultant medical oncologist and served as a professor of palliative medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals.

Sir Mike is the second national figure to take up the role of senior counsel after Richard Douglas, NHS Improvement’s interim chair and the former director general for finance at the DH, joined Incisive last year.

Incisive was set up by Mike Birtwistle, Sarah Winstone and former Andrew Lansley special adviser Bill Morgan in 2013.

The London based firm employs 28 people and this year opened an office in Brussels. Its clients include pharmaceutical giants Roche and Pfizer, interest groups, including Anthony Nolan and the Stroke Association, and providers such as Virgin Care and the Specialised Healthcare Alliance.

Mr Birtwistle said: “Sir Mike’s impact on improving clinical quality and health outcomes is second to none. His work has benefited millions. Sir Mike’s commitment to patients, his collaborative style and desire to deliver change makes him the perfect addition to our team.

“It is great news that Incisive Health clients will get to benefit from his expertise and that our talented team will have the opportunity to work with and learn from him.”

Sir Mike said: “I have always been impressed by the quality of Incisive Health’s insight and advice and their ability to deliver results which make a difference for patients, the NHS and their clients.

“The team understands what drives change in health and they know how to bring people together. These are vital attributes if the NHS is to navigate the tough financial climate to improve quality and deliver better outcomes. I look forward to playing my part in helping the Incisive Health team make this happen.”