Five practices could escape CQC closure

Nearly half of practices threatened with closure by the CQC could escape censure, as senior GPs warn the registration process may be diverting resources away from patient care.

Dr Peter Holden: ‘It was supposed to cost us nothing and it is costing a fortune.' (Photo: Jason Heath Lancy)
Dr Peter Holden: ‘It was supposed to cost us nothing and it is costing a fortune.' (Photo: Jason Heath Lancy)

Two of the eight practices threatened with closure by the CQC in April have now been registered and a further three have launched appeals of the decision.

Last month, two practices were closed after they failed to appeal the regulator’s decision. The remaining practice has now altered its setup and re-submitted its application, which was accepted by the CQC.

Meanwhile, GP leaders have warned that the ‘fortune’ being spent on practices becoming CQC compliant is diverting resources away from clinical work, which could affect patient care.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said he was not surprised or worried about the closures. ‘We don’t know all the circumstances. For all we know these [GPs] were going to retire,’ he said.

When asked what his outstanding worries were about CQC registration, he said: ‘It was supposed to cost us nothing and it is costing a fortune. Not only the registration fee, but with stupid things like Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks. It has cost my practice £1,100 alone to have all our staff CRB staff checked.’

When asked if he was confident that his practice would pass its inspection, he said: ‘If we aren’t [CQC compliant], thousands won’t be.’

A motion put forward at this month’s LMCs conference on 23 and 24 May warns that patient care will suffer as a result of money being diverted away from clinical work due to CQC registration.

Gloucestershire LMC’s motion calls on the government 'to redirect the money currently being wasted on an unnecessary and counter-productive inspectorate into clinical care'.

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