Introducing our Regulatory Leadership team

Care Quality Commission
8 min readNov 3, 2022

In our latest blog, we introduce our Regulatory Leadership team and explore what motivates them.

Our Regulatory Leadership team comprises our Chief Inspectors and professional heads of the different sectors within health and social care. The team is key to delivering the ambitions we set out in our strategy.

We’ve had thousands of conversations with people who use services, health and care providers, colleagues in Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other stakeholders. They’ve all told us the same thing — that we need to change how we work to allow us to regulate more effectively across health and care, and ensure that regulation properly reflects people’s experience of care. Providing regulatory leadership across all our work enables us to shape national conversations across the system to make sure people are getting safe, high-quality care.

A typical week for colleagues could involve:

  • planning a thematic review on a specific issue or concern that needs us to look at it in closer detail or looking more closely at care across a region
  • influencing improvement and safety regionally and nationally across systems, pathways of care and population groups
  • preparing to deliver our new powers for local authority and integrated care system assessment
  • providing strategic direction and policy support to our operational colleagues
  • developing and testing potential new ways of working.

In their introductions below you’ll come across words such as: passionate, committed, values, authenticity, improvement, influence and champion. Words that reflect the driving force behind this people focused team and their dedication to improving care for everyone.

So, who are they, what are their motivations and how do they believe regulation can improve care for people? Let’s find out.

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Integrated Care and Interim Chief Operating Officer

Background: As a social worker, Kate has worked across local government, from commissioning to becoming Director of Adult Social Care at Oxfordshire County Council.

“I was drawn to a career in social care at a young age by the possibility of helping people live independently and have their voices heard where they might not otherwise have done.

I have a passion for ensuring that people get access to high quality, joined up, person-centred care and that people get the right support at the right time delivered by a workforce who are compassionate and valued for the skilled support they deliver.

What people experience when moving through services is what’s vital to achieving the ambitions in our strategy and I’m committed to making sure our new powers give us the opportunity to drive improvement and share best practice across health and social care, more than ever before.”

Dr Sean O’Kelly, Chief Inspector of Hospitals and Interim Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services

Background: Sean qualified as a consultant paediatric cardiac anaesthetist, going on to hold leadership positions across NHS trusts, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.

“As a child I saw first-hand how important being healthy was and wanted to help as many people as I could to stay healthy. This passion has stayed with me over the years and has not been diminished even slightly by the passage of time.

Regulation identifies when, where and how services can be improved for people. Regulation can be the safety net that prevents harm when organisations don’t recognise a decline in the quality of their service or when they recognise the issues but don’t respond to them effectively.”

Scott Durairaj, Director of Integrated Care, Inequalities and Improvement

Background: A paramedic by background, Scott has extensive experience in leadership roles across integrated care systems. Scott designed and directed the South East COVID-19 disparity programme for our diverse populations and workforce.

“I grew up with one grandparent who was gone by the time I was 10, my parents were both gone by the time I was 25, by the time I was 46 my sibling had died aged 54. Health inequalities are not the latest fad or policy statement. They have a huge impact for people who experience them.

I’ll be driving forward our work on integrated care systems. If delivered well, this can really change the face of health and care for the population and the workforce. We must think, act and lead differently to achieve our purpose and it must always be done with values and authenticity.

Regulation is not our only purpose. We need to use our space of influence and improvement; this will lead to better outcomes for people. Regulation has the power to improve people’s access, experiences, and outcomes, including for some of our most marginalised people, so that no one is ever left behind.”

Chris Dzikiti, Director of Mental Health

Background: Chris is a registered mental health nurse and published author with experience in healthcare transformation, delivery and commissioning.

“I consider my role in Regulatory Leadership a great honour.

Global mental health is everyone’s responsibility. I’ve always believed l have a role to play in contributing to high standards of care. I’m a mental health nurse and every person l supported when working on the frontline inspired me to continuously challenge myself to be better. It taught me life lessons that have shaped me personally and professionally.

Regulation when used well is the cornerstone of how high-quality care can be achieved — through our inspections, sharing learning and good practice. We also have the opportunity to positively influence providers while enabling them to be creative and responsive to the needs of all people who access their services.”

Mary Cridge, Director of Adult Social Care

Background: Mary has spent 30 years working in regulation across public and private sectors including charities, legal services, health and social care.

“Adult social care is the sister service to the NHS and is a much under-appreciated jewel in our national life. I’m on a mission to address that. I see my role as an opportunity to turn the dial on some longstanding issues and challenges.

Inequality, unfair treatment and the chance to do something positive about it is a huge motivator for me. The shocking public health statistics that drew me into this world still shock me today. I’m inspired everyday by people I encounter, inside and outside CQC.

I believe regulation is a force for good. I’ve seen what a difference it can make, not just to the quality and safety of care provided but importantly to the quality of life for people and their families.

As a regulator, we’ve got a range of ways to influence improvement. We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of setting clear standards and holding providers to account. It’s important that we share and promote great practice and that we continue to be curious about what people need and want.”

Dr Mani Hussain, Director of Primary and Community Care

Background: Mani was a clinical pharmacist before moving into primary care commissioning, leading on medicines, community services and general practice.

“Helping and serving people who need our care has always been a prime driver for me. There’s nothing more humbling and gratifying. Whether this support is delivered on the front line in my role as a clinical pharmacist or on a larger scale through my role in Regulatory Leadership — it’s a privilege.

Without regulation, we would have disparity in services, which would lead to widening health inequalities. I’ll continue my passion for primary and community care by ensuring that effective regulation helps drive up quality. Whether it’s working with services to improve or recognising those who provide outstanding care, what’s most important is that everything is centred around the individual person’s needs.”

Victoria Vallance, Director of Secondary and Specialist Care

Background: A children’s nurse and community specialist practitioner by background, Victoria worked across acute and community provider services and commissioning prior to leading in regulation. Victoria is CQC’s lead registered nurse.

“Health and social care touches everybody, every day — directly or through families and friends. I’m passionate that every individual person deserves to start life well, live well, age well and die well — and importantly, plan for all those things well. Our own experiences stay with us for life.

These things only happen when the workforce is equally well cared for to give their best. I’m committed to exploring how nurses, midwives, clinicians, professionals, support workers and the wider frontline team are all valued and supported in their mission to care for people well.

Through regulation, we can share great practice, creativity and innovation to help others to learn locally, regionally and nationally. The best interests of people and communities steers all that we do.”

Debbie Ivanova, Director for People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People

Background: A social worker with experience in residential and community settings working with people with a learning disability, Debbie also has 22 years’ experience working in regulation.

“My role is an opportunity to influence change. It brings together my passion for getting it right for people, respecting their human rights and focusing on aspirations, not just meeting needs.

I’m driven by equal measures of outrage and delight. Where people are living in services of their choice, organised around their needs and wishes, great things happen. People can achieve such a good life with the right support. Unfortunately, all too often services do not meet people’s needs and don’t recognise the humanity and individually of each person. This isn’t acceptable, and it motivates me to keep focused on a goal of truly co-produced care that values each person.

People shouldn’t have to put up with care that isn’t good. A successful regulator knows how to get under that care, focus on what it’s like for people living in or using services and make sure the right standards are upheld so people are safe to lead a full life.”

Stuart Dean, Director of Corporate Providers and Market Oversight.

Background: Stuart is a qualified accountant with experience in private practice covering corporate restructuring, corporate finance, mergers and acquisition as well as leading a specialist healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector team.

“Everyone has the right to expect great care and Market Oversight helps to ensure that no-one is left without the care that they need as a result of the financial failure of certain potentially ‘difficult to replace’ care providers.

I’m keen to use my breadth of skills and experience to ensure that no-one within government can say they weren’t aware of what was happening in the social care marketplace, or that they didn’t appreciate what the likely consequence of a particular decision would be. In this way, we can give something back to wider society.”

What’s next?

Everything this team strives for is underpinned by the drive to improve care for everyone. Look out for more in our series of Regulatory Leadership blogs, where we’ll focus on their collective and individual priorities and ambitions.



Care Quality Commission

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.