The CQC’s new chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care, Dr Rosie Benneyworth, is set to show us what she is made of in the coming months.
Following the announcement of primary care networks in England’s new GP contract in January, certain models of PCNs may require CQC registration – and Dr Benneyworth is overseeing the implications for inspections.
The Somerset GP, who took up her CQC role in March, is no stranger to networks. In the past 12 months she devised a strategy for bringing together healthcare services in her region, involving groups of practices serving 30,0000 to 50,000 patients – the same size as networks.
At the CQC she will also help to bring in a new inspection approach that involves collecting data from practices rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, with the intention of cutting visits. Though a delay to its introduction means she will first be ensuring an interim approach of phoning practices goes smoothly.
But while the regulator strives to improve, it continues to be berated by GPs for its heavy handedness – and its latest annual report shows it is taking almost a third more criminal actions against medical providers than last year.
Not only that, Dr Benneyworth, a former vice chair of NICE, will be watched closely for how she handles overseeing the safety of online GP providers. She says she will be ‘understanding emerging new technologies so we can support innovation and ensure the safety of patients with their use’.
Why influential: Head of primary care regulation in England
What others say: ‘Hard-working and optimistic’
Random fact: Is training for a half-marathon – but she says it’s been 20 years since she last covered that distance