Controversial Appointment to Caring Together Board
Following a Labour question at the Cheshire East Council meeting on 14 May and serious concerns that her appointment could undermine public confidence in the Caring Together programme, it has been announced that Dame Jo Williams will not be taking up the position as Chair of the East Cheshire Caring Together Executive Board.
Caring Together is part of the wider NHS reorganisation of health and social care across eastern Cheshire. The aim is to encourage providers of care to work together with the people who receive care, their support networks, family, friends and carers.
Dame Jo Williams was the chair of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) until 2012. During her tenure there were well-publicised failings at the CQC. Dame Jo Williams was forced to step down after making public comments on the mental health of a fellow CQC board member who had blown the whistle over Mid Staffs Hospital. A Parliamentary enquiry found that the whistle-blower’s allegations were substantially correct.
This leaves further questions unanswered
Who was involved in the decision to offer the position to Dame Jo Williams?
When was Cheshire East Council informed of the decision?
Why wasn’t the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee informed?
Why didn’t the Conservatives object to the appointment?
Councillor Laura Jeuda said, “I am pleased that Dame Jo Williams and the Caring Together Executive Board have together made the correct decision that Dame Jo Williams will not take up the Caring Together role. This appointment has been very badly handled and we need to know why Councillors were kept in the dark.”
Councillor Ken Edwards, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield Central, said, “It is vital that the Chair of the Caring Together board’s record is above reproach in relation to protecting the quality of care for vulnerable people in Cheshire East. I hope that the appointment process to find a new Chair will be carried out in an open and inclusive manner.