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Former CQC chief to chair Health Education England

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Health Education England (HEE) has appointed the former chief executive of the CQC, Sir David Behan, as its new chair.

Sir David, left the CQC this summer, will take on the role for a three-year term starting next month.

He will replace Sir Keith Pearson, who has chaired HEE since the Government arms-length body – which is in charge of overseeing GP education and training – was instated in 2013.

Sir David’s career in health and social care spans four decades and he was knighted for his services in 2017. His other previous roles included serving as director general of social care, local government and care partnerships at the Department of Health.

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During his six years at the CQC, he oversaw the introduction of the GP practice ratings system and the programme to inspect every GP practice in England.

HEE chief executive Professor Ian Cumming said: ‘I am personally looking forward to working with and learning from Sir David as he joins HEE as he brings this experience and leadership to bear on dealing with the workforce challenges and opportunities that will be outlined in the forthcoming long-term plan we are working with colleagues across the system to create.’

The NHS long-term plan, expected imminently, will set out how the Government intends to spend the announced extra £20.5bn in funding. But experts warned this week that the NHS workforce shortages are so dire that there is a risk some of money pledged may go unspent.

Health education bosses have recruited record numbers of GP trainees this year, surpassing their target of 3,250 for the first time, however this comes against a backdrop of high rates of workforce attrition.