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Baroness Young to step down as CQC chair

By Steve Nowottny

Baroness Barbara Young, chair of the Care Quality Commission, has announced that she will be leaving her post in February.

Baroness Young, who has proved a controversial figure among GPs during her time leading the new health and social care regulator, informed the CQC board and health secretary Andy Burnham of her intention to stand down late last month.

In a statement issued yesterday, Baroness Young said: 'Having overseen the major task of creating a single regulator for health and social care and pointed it in the right direction, I have decided that it will be for others to take it forward. I wish all success to the Commission and its staff and to Dame Jo Williams who has agreed to act as Chairman until a successor is appointed. Jo will start to take up the reins in January.'

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: 'Barbara joined CQC in May 2008 and her strong leadership has seen us successfully through the transition from three predecessor organisations. She has put CQC on the map as the regulator of health and social care and will be a tough act to follow. We wish her all the best in the next stage of her career.'

Commenting on Baroness Young's resignation, NHS Confederation chief executive Steve Barnett said: 'The Care Quality Commission is introducing a new system of regulation in April 2010, and the CQC and Department of Health must give clear and consistent leadership to help the NHS meet this challenge. It is too early to know whether the new system will be the most effective way of regulating the health service in the long term.'

'In a complex healthcare system, the focus must be on getting clinical governance right at a local level: a regulator can only identify problems after they have happened. We need to get the balance right between recording and collecting data for national regulators, and allowing the time and flexibility for NHS boards and managers at the frontline to use the data locally to improve the performance of their hospitals.'

Baroness Barbara Young has announced she is to step down as CQC chair Baroness Barbara Young has announced she is to step down as CQC chair

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