CQC fees for an average-sized GP practice to rise by around 14%

The CQC fee for an average-sized GP practice will rise by almost 14% under a revamped system that charges based on list size and the number of locations practices operate from.

The CQC has overhauled its fee system for 2018/19, scrapping the previous banding scale in favour of a formula that calculates each practice's fee based on list size and locations.

Under the new model, an average-sized single-site GP practice with 8,133 patients would pay around £5,145, according to the regulator's fee calculator. This is around £619 more than the 2017/18 fee for single-site practices with between 5,001 and 10,000 patients - a rise of almost 14%.

The changes look set to shift costs away from smaller providers, however, with the CQC pointing out that a provider with 'one location and a patient list size of 5,200 will see their fee decrease from £4,526 to £3,473'.

Meanwhile, a practice with 'two locations and patient list sizes of 10,000 and 8,300 at each of the locations will see their fee increase from £8,371 to £11,449'.

CQC fees

The changes will have no impact on practices' overall funding, because the 2017/18 GP contract introduced a mechanism for practices to be reimbursed in full for their CQC fees - although it will affect the amount most practices have to pay out and recoup.

A response from the CQC to a consultation on plans to overhaul its fees said that the majority of respondents had opposed the system it has chosen to implement.

However, it added that 'all national bodies endorsed it and they represent a significant number of providers'.

The CQC response said: 'Our reasoning in the consultation showed that the current structure, with its two measures of patient list size and number of locations, does not adequately reflect the differentiation in size and range of practices.

'Changes to the way providers in this sector are organised and the provision of services exacerbate that. The move to a more proportionate method provides a better basis for aligning fees more closely with the cost of regulation.'

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