GPC urges NHS Commissioning Board to pay practices' CQC fees

GP leaders are calling on the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) to pay the CQC registration fee for all practices in England.

GPC: ‘No other doctors pay personally for CQC registration of their organisations.'

In a response to the CQC consultation on fees, which closes today, the GPC said that GPs should not be expected pay the fee – up to £850 a practice – out of their personal income.

‘No other doctors in the NHS pay personally for the CQC registration of their organisations, and we do not believe that GP contractors should either,’ the response reads.

‘If fees are to be applied … they should be fully reimbursed by the commissioner of general practice.’

The GPC also warns there will be some overlap between CQC registration and information required by the NHSCB once it takes on its contract management responsibilities after PCTs are abolished in April. It urges the CQC to avoid duplication, to help reduce regulation costs and fees.

Practices will receive 48 hours notice before routine inspections, but no notice will be given before inspections that are the result of concerns being raised.

Proposed annual fee levels depend on the size of the GP practice. They range from £550 for a practice with one site and up to 5,000 patients, to £850 for a very large practice with more than 15,000 patients. Practices with multiple locations will pay higher fees, up to £15,000 for one with more than 40 locations.

The GPC said that it ‘broadly agreed’ with the fee structure proposed by the CQC which takes into account both number of practice sites and the list size. But the GPC said the fee for practices with two sites should be reduced. It said this is because under current plans a practice with two locations with a list size of less than 5,000 will pay £100 more than two separate small practices.

A spokeswoman for the NHSCB said: ‘It is a well-established principle that all regulated providers should meet the costs of regulation, and in line with this principle all health and care providers regulated by the CQC have had to meet the costs of registration.

‘Decisions on the overall value of GP contract payments for 2013/14 are a matter for the government, taking account of the recommendations due to be made in February 2012 by the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB).’

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