Practices face annual CQC fee of £1,500

GP practices could face fees of around £1,500 to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), documents released by the watchdog reveal.

Dr McCarron-Nash: GPs should not have to pay CQC registration fee (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
Dr McCarron-Nash: GPs should not have to pay CQC registration fee (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

A CQC consultation to set fees for dental surgeries says GP practices may be in the same category. GPs may be charged for each location if they have multiple or branch practices, the consultation suggests.

England's 9,000 GP practices have to register with the regulator from April 2012.

The consultation proposes a registration fee of £1,500 for each dental practice, and makes clear GP practices are likely to face a similar deal.

'We are considering whether to include primary medical service providers within the non-NHS healthcare category for their fees charges, in a similar way to the proposals for dental providers in this consultation,' the document says.

The 'essential principles' for setting dentists' fees will be maintained, and 'NHS GP providers can be clear any future proposals we make relating to their fees will be based on those principles', it adds.

The CQC will consult on GP provider fees next autumn.

GPC negotiator Dr Beth McCarron-Nash said the GPC was in talks with the CQC and hoped to avoid a GP registration fee. 'We are working with the CQC around what practices are going to be expected to pay and nothing has been agreed,' she said. 'We don't think any fee is reasonable and we will be arguing that GPs shouldn't have to pay this at all.'

In a foreword to the consultation, CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower says the regulator has 'no interest' in making fees higher than they need to be because its income is capped by the DoH. 'The more providers are able to demonstrate their compliance, the less the system will cost,' Ms Bower adds.

A spokesman for the CQC said that although federations of GP practices may also have to register, commissioning consortia will not because the watchdog only oversees providers.

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