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.
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.
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.
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.