Practices forced to reveal CQC plans to private company

Practices across England are being forced to reveal their plans for CQC registration to a private company under the Freedom of Information Act.

CQC registration: practices asked to divulge plans
CQC registration: practices asked to divulge plans

The GPC has told practices they have to answer the Freedom of Information request by the private company asking them what budget they have allocated to purchase external tools or consultancy services to demonstrate compliance.

But the GPC has told practices to answer each of the four questions by saying that they are following GPC guidance on CQC registration.

All English practices have to be registered with the CQC by 1 April 2013 and the CQC has said that each practice will be inspected at least once every two years.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden accused the company of 'abusing the Freedom of Information Act' for a commercial fishing exercise. He said: 'The problem is that all of these requests need funding and you could get a gullible GP giving information away that is commercially sensitive. There is a workload involved in complying with the law. The Freedom of Information Act was there for good reason and not for companies to gain information to see if they can sell something.’

The request asks questions including whether practices intend to use tools available from the RCGP and other organisations to prove compliance with CQC rules. It then goes on to ask for details of the ‘business decisions behind this selection’.

Practices have been advised by the GPC to answer every question, but that commercial confidentiality means details about cost do not have to be disclosed.

The GPC also reminded practices that Freedom of Information requests should be in relation to what has happened and not what is anticipated to happen.

A spokeswoman from the company which sent out the requests was not available to comment.

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