GPs fear rising CQC payments

CQC fees for GP practices could more than double in future to pay for an expanded general practice inspection regime, GP leaders fear.

Registration fees for GP practices are likely to rise 2.5% in 2014/15 under proposals being consulted on by the watchdog.

For 2013/14, the first year in which practices have had to register with the CQC, they have paid up to £850 each.

But the CQC has said this will need to rise because it is statutorily required to recoup its costs from organisations it regulates, and the current fee covers only half of the necessary amount.

GP leaders fear costs could more than double, however, if the new inspection regime set up to support the CQC's first chief inspector of primary care proves more expensive than current arrangements.

This month, former RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field took up the post on a salary of up to £175,000.

Professor Field said his inspection teams would be 'loaded with GPs', with inspection pilots beginning in December.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said any fee rise was unjustified. Based on comments by Professor Field since he took up his CQC role, Dr Vautrey said there 'appears to be a risk' the new model would increase the cost of CQC checks and this would be 'paid for by GPs'.

Dr Vautrey said: 'There is no justification for a rise when general practice is facing unfunded rising expenses that are leading to resource cuts.

'The CQC has a duty to recover its costs, but we have always argued this is in effect an unfair tax on practices, paid for by GPs, unlike other doctors in the health service where costs are borne by the organisation.

'We have also repeatedly expressed concern that this arrangement does not provide discouragement for the CQC to limit its costs.'

A CQC spokesman refused to rule out GP fees more than doubling: 'Later this year, the CQC will be communicating details on the new model for GP practice inspections.

'The government is clear the CQC must recover the cost of regulation from providers. Every time there has been a suggested change in fees, there has been a full consultation - this will continue with any new changes.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Close up of hand holding sample tube with 'Omicron' handwritten on side

Government urged to 'free up' GP practices and expand steps to control Omicron

GPs have called for immediate action such as suspension of QOF to allow practices...

(Photo: Mike Kemp/Getty Images)

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

External wall of GP surgery with wording 'medical centre'

‘Utterly toxic’: GPs speak out over abuse and physical attacks on practice teams

GPs have condemned a rise in verbal and physical attacks on practice staff - warning...

Artist's image of a spiked virus

Javid warns of 'substantial risk' from new COVID-19 variant

The highly mutated COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 'may pose a significant risk to public...

Desk with lettering 'LMC conference'

LMCs reject 'outdated' GMS contract and demand move to item of service payments

LMCs have voted to scrap the 'outdated and inadequate' GMS contract and to replace...

GPs at an LMC conference waving green voting cards in the air

LMCs demand ringfence on enhanced services cash and clear GP representation in ICSs

LMCs have called for a ringfence on enhanced services funding, along with a guarantee...