CQC fees could drive GPs out of business, BMA warns

Proposed Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration fees could disproportionately hit rural branch practices and single-handed GPs, the BMA has warned.

Dr McCaron-Nash: 'No fee is acceptable'
Dr McCaron-Nash: 'No fee is acceptable'

Last year GP revealed that the CQC is planning to group GP practices in the same category as dental surgeries, meaning they could have to pay registration fees of around £1,500.

Responding to a CQC consultation on the fees, the BMA said it would be 'damaging' to put primary medical providers in the same payment band as dentists. England's 9,000 GP practices have to register with the regulator from April 2012.

The BMA's response says: 'Many GP practices have branch surgeries that provide a vital service to rural communities that could become financially unviable if their existence meant a higher fee for providers. Larger practices that run separate surgeries elsewhere in order to provide local services to patients in their area would also be penalised and may have to close those surgeries.'

'Single-handed GP practices could be disproportionately affected under the proposed fee bandings, as a single handed GP practice with one location would be expected to pay the same fee as a large practice with one location despite their differenat levels of contractual funding.'

Last year GPC negotiator Dr Beth McCaron-Nash told GP 'no fee is acceptable' and said the GPC was in talks with the CQC over the fees.

The CQC is running another consultation specifically on primary care registration fees in the Autumn.

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