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Jail or fine for GPs who fail to register with new regulator

GPs face being charged to register with the Government's new health regulator – and jailed if they don't.

The health and social care bill declares it will be a legal offence for a health provider not to register with the new Care Quality Commission, which is set to launch a whole series of regulation changes in primary care.

Those failing to register with the regulator may be imprisoned for up to 12 months, fined up to £50,000, or both.

A Department of Health spokesperson said no decision had yet been made on the level of fees GPs may have to pay.

The department told Pulse last week the regulator would initially focus on GPSIs, PMS practices and GPs carrying out minor surgery.

But the bill lays the foundation for the regulator to have a much broader remit over all GPs and other NHS primary care staff, with a key role in appraisals and employment of doctors, as well as premises.

Dr Anita Sharma, a GP in Oldham, Lancashire, said the plans to charge GPs for the privilege of more regulation were ‘insane'. She added: ‘I pay my fees to a person who will come and inspect and regulate me? I think that is total nonsense. I won't be paying it.'

Dr Andrew Biggs, a GP in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, was more resigned to the changes: ‘It stinks, but it doesn't surprise me from this Government.'

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