BMA calls for 'flexibility' over April 2013 CQC registration date

The BMA will 'strenuously oppose' a link between Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration and RCGP practice accreditation scheme and suggests a 'more flexible' date for registration once the April 2013 deadline is reached.

The BMA has issued its response to the CQC consultation on a proposed change in the date of registration.

The union has welcomed the delay but outlined the concerns it had regarding CQC registration.

The BMA spoke out against proposals to align CQC registration with the RCGP accreditation scheme.

As part of the CQC consultation, it said that the change in timing would give providers ‘more time to explore the evidence from available accreditation and quality improvement schemes – including from the RCGP’s practice accreditation scheme’.

The BMA said that this implied a link between the CQC registration process and the RCGP scheme.

The BMA said linking the schemes would put pressure on practices to participate in the RCGP scheme which is ‘extremely expensive and burdensome.’

‘We will strenuously oppose any alignment of the two schemes, particularly of it leads to an increase in the CQC registration requirements to those used in the voluntary RCGP scheme,’ the BMA said.

The BMA expressed concerns over the CQC's ability to register 'all primary care providers from April 2013' and suggested 'a more flexible approach' when the date is reached.

The BMA also raised its concerns over GPs being expected to bear the cost of CQC registration.

The BMA said: ‘We do not believe that the present proposals…offer any added value for practices or patients, nor do we believe that GPs should pay for CQC activity from their personal income.’

The BMA said that it would be submitting a ‘robust response’ on the subject once the consultation was published.

The BMA supports the CQC’s proposal to delay the registration of GP practices that provide out-of-hours care and argues that the same delay should be extended to NHS walk-in centres and dedicated providers of out-of-hours services.

The BMA also argues that current CQC expectations on compliance would ‘create an additional and unnecessary administrative burned that will disrupt GP practices and divert time away from patients’.

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