Kay Sheldon said executives put personal survival above interests of Stafford hospital patients
The director of the health regulator who appeared last year at a public inquiry criticising its chief executive and chair will remain on the board, it has been confirmed. Kay Sheldon told the Francis inquiry into regulatory failure over death rates at Stafford hospital, part of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, that Care Quality Commission executives put "reputation management and personal survival" ahead of patients' best interests, and that she had been rebuffed when she raised this internally.
On the day she gave evidence, the commission's chair, Dame Jo Williams, wrote to Andrew Lansley asking the health secretary to remove Sheldon. Last week Lansley wrote to Sheldon saying he had decided she could stay as a "full and active" non-executive board member. Sheldon said she was "looking forward to the next board meeting in September".
Lansley's decision raises a question over how long Williams can stay on the commission's board. The CQC has had a difficult year. It came under fire not only in the Francis inquiry but also from MPs and an internal Department of Health review. In February the commission's chief executive, Cynthia Bower, resigned after the health department published a damning assessment of the CQC, supporting many of Sheldon's concerns. The new chief executive, David Behan, the former director general for social care at the Department of Health, began work earlier this month. The Guardian