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DH rejects £200k salary for chief inspector of GPs

Exclusive The chief inspector of general practice will be paid up to £175k a year, as the DH said a higher salary was ‘out of the question’.

Pulse can reveal that the chief inspector of primary care – to be appointed imminently- will earn a salary between £157,500 – £175,000. While the CQC envisaged that the salary would be higher, they were forced to lower their expectations following restrictions from the DH.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced plans for a chief inspector to look at the quality of care in general practice earlier this year.

Once appointed they will launch a consultation on how primary care providers should be expected and regulated, and oversee the implementation of a tough new inspection regime.

An internal email sent to CQC’s chief executive David Behan at the end of June, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, said: ‘I wanted to flag with you that the evaluation for the Chief Inspector of General Practice has come back with the rate of £157 to £175k.

‘We discussed that this role would probably demand a higher salary (£180 to £200k)’

A DH official replied: ‘This is the situation. 200k almost certainly out of the question. Need to stick to 175 ceiling and use 10% flex sparingly. We have no room for manoeuvre with HM Treasury as they have tightened their rules for other CIs salary in the light of CI Hospitals.’

The communications also revealed that the salary was equal to that of the chief inspector of social care. The CQC said one applicant for the role of chief inspector of social care had said they would only accept a salary of £200,000, but the DH said this was unacceptable.

According to the CQC’s internal timetable, an offer would be made to an applicant for the chief inspector of general practice role by the 2 August. A CQC spokesperson declined to comment on whether they have made an offer yet.

‘We are not making any comment in relation to this post until the appointment has been confirmed.’ they said.