CQC fee for GP practices will rise 76% from April, watchdog confirms

The CQC has confirmed that annual fees for average-sized GP practices will rocket from April to £4,526 per year as the watchdog moves towards recovering its full costs from providers.

CQC fees for GP practices are set to be reimbursed in full for 2017/18 under a deal agreed as part of the GP contract - practices will be expected to pay their fees upfront and invoice their local NHS England team.

But GP leaders have called the sharp increase in costs 'scandalous' and warned that even with reimbursement for practices, transferring the costs to practices risks diverting funding away from frontline priorities. Derbyshire LMC last year accused the CQC of behaving like a 'medieval robber-baron' by imposing the rise.

Despite the deal to reimburse fees for 2017/18, GP leaders have yet to secure a permanent commitment from the government to protect practices from the increased costs.

Plans for the increase in CQC costs - which apply across all health and social care providers inspected by the watchdog - were set out in a public consultation last year.

Map: Which CCGs have highest GP CQC ratings?

The CQC has set out plans to reduce its overall budget as it moves in line with government policy that it should recover costs from providers as grant-in-aid funding is withdrawn.

Figures released by the CQC show its budget in 2015/16 was £249m, but that this will drop to £217m by 2019/20. The watchdog says it has made 'over £10 million in efficiency savings' during the current financial year.

Under fee increases implemented by the watchdog, annual costs will rise £1,952 for a single-location GP practice with between 5,001 and 10,000 patients to £4,526 a year.

CQC chief executive David Behan said: 'All providers of health and care must be registered in order to provide services. CQC provides the public with independent assurance that services are operating in their interests. The fee paid by providers is the charge for being registered with CQC.'

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'We successfully negotiated a full reimbursement of the CQC fee rises by NHS England for this year in the annual changes to the GP contract.

'This will shield GP practices from the financial impact of these increases which will be welcomed given the incredible pressure on practice budgets. It is still unacceptable that limited resources are  being diverted away from frontline care towards paying for a system that has been widely criticised as ineffective.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus