MPs to debate regulations for CQC despite criticisms

Legislation on the regulation of healthcare providers by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has passed before parliament for approval, despite concerns from the BMA, the RCGP, and the King's Fund.

In response to a DoH consultation on the framework of regulations that all health and social care providers must meet, the BMA said it would duplicate many functions of the GMC and be overly burdensome.

The RCGP broadly supported the framework, but said that its dual function of regulating health and social care might not fit the needs of either sector properly.

The King's Fund also broadly supported the document, but said of proposals for primary care: 'It is currently unclear whether this proposal is about regulating new risks or rectifying existing shortfalls in quality.'

The think-tank also warned that there was 'a significant risk' that the efficiency of monitoring so many providers might not justify its cost.

General practices will be required to be registered some time between April 2011 and April 2012, although exact dates are yet to be confirmed.

The CQC is consulting on plans to charge providers an annual fee to register (GP, 16 October).

The commission was expected to publish an outline of fee options as GP went to press.

The draft regulations have been laid before parliament and are available on the Office for Public Sector Information website www.opsi.gov.uk.

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