Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Steve Field Moves To CQC


STEVE FIELD, Deputy Medical Director of NHS England and the main force behind the commission's Equality and Health Inequalities team is moving to become the Chief Inspector of General Practice at the Care Quality Commission.

The move, announced today, is a logical one for Field, given his background as a former chair of the Royal College of GPs, who also developed GP training. He is also still a practicing GP.

However, the move also raises questions now over the leadership and direction of the Equality and Health Inequalities function at NHS England.

Personal stamp

Field had previously put a very strong (some would say idiosyncratic) personal stamp on the shape of the team and the type of appointments to it.

He surprised many by completely passing over established senior figures in the NHS equality area, pushing for an emphasis on health inequalities.

Job share

In theory the director-level championship role for E&HI was shared one-day-a-week with Paula Vasco-Knight, a practicing nurse whose main role is as Chief Executive of South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

On that one day each week Field returned to general practice in Birmingham so that, effectively, the championship of E&HI was a job share.

Now four fifths of that 1 FTE job share has departed.

Operational Head

Nominally the lead for the E&HI function is Ruth Passman, who was appointed in June.

Ruth Passman is certainly not in the same league as Professor Field. Having known her, I think she would admit that.

In fact this blog was probably the only place you would have heard of her appointment.

So this move creates a space and lots of questions.

We'll be interested to see what happens.


  1. Sadly, very sadly, this could be catastrophic for transfolk.

    Prof. Field had full intention of leading an independent review of transgender medicine (his words) during the rest of 2013. I suppose this will not now happen or will be subverted by the establishment. I would love to be wrong on that :-(

    There was great hope that, as in Denmark recently, there would finally be recognition of the existence of transsexualism without dysphoria. In line with European Parliament resolutions.

    And treatment of the same (which has always been self-paid - never NHS paid up to now). No hormones or GRS without either genuinely having dysphoria or feigning it - that is what the psychs want.


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