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Independents' Day

CQC launches consultation on new GP practice fee levels

The CQC has launched a consultation on changes to fees for GP practices, expected to result in increased costs for one-site practices with large list sizes.

Those with a below average (around 7,800 patients) list size are likely to see their costs come down under the CQC's new formula, which it said would better account for practices working across multiple sites.

Announcing the consultation, the CQC said that more than 90% of practices currently operate out of a single site, but the trend is towards multi-site working, often with community or secondary care providers.

The new system would set fees based on the list size per location, rather than charging bands based on the total patient list size.

The CQC told Pulse it will be collecting the same amount of fees from GPs overall, but a provider with three locations and a small list size would be likely to see fees reduce, while a provider with one location and a large list size will see fees increase.

Currently practices with three sites are paying triple the cost for regulation, which the CQC says does not reflect the true costs.

The consultation says: ‘Broadly, NHS GP providers with one location, who represent 90% of the sector, who have a below average list size (estimated at 7,785) will pay a lower fee, while those with a higher list size will pay a higher fee.’

It adds: 'The current fees structure does not fit the way the sector is structured, and it will become increasingly outmoded as the way services are organised and delivered develops further.

'Bearing this in mind, we are proposing to adjust the structure of the fees scheme so that it measures size in what appears to us to be a fairer and more equitable way.'

'The changes will benefit smaller providers and ensure a more equitable distribution of fees. This addresses the above point on the changes in the way primary care is organised.'

However practices will be insulated against any change because the 2017/18 GMS contract introduced direct reimbursement for CQC fees.

This was done in order to offset the financial blow of the six-fold increase in costs from the withdrawal of Department of Health subsidies.

Currently practices claim back their costs, which increased by more than £4,000 for the average 7,000 patient practice, from NHS England.


Readers' comments (8)

  • Fee? I'd like a refund...

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  • £1 a year, I’ll start the bidding.

    Bear in mind I am paid £12.60 a month per patient to provide an endless unlimited buffet of GP services.

    I asked my medical student how much he thought gps were paid per patient per year the other day, asking him to remember that an ECG at the local hospital costs the CCG £108 and a night on the MEAU £447. “Oh, about £750?” He replied.

    Do I tell him the truth, HSL?

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  • David Banner

    If we are receiving "full reimbursement " then why the discussion on changes in billing? Anyone else smell a rat? Maybe next year's contract will row back from this promise.
    Of course, the whole concept of being charged for this brutal compulsory inspection is utterly bizarre. It's rather like being forced into having thugs come round to your house, who then rifle through your draws and punch you repeatedly in the face, then send you a large bill with a note saying "same time next year?".

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  • Be careful David. Don't mention smelling rats. Might give the CQC some further ideas for practice assessments.
    They do say in some cities that you're never more than several feet away from one. sadly its a stuck on guarantee when you get a visit.

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  • Total Farce the taxpayer is funding this why doesn't the Government just fund whatever they want from CQC and leave us out of it and save some money on administration of refunding

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  • I would say they should pay us because of all the extra work involved. £1 per patient.

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  • So we pay the GMC so they can strike us off the register and end our careers and pay the CQC to shut our practices....lovely. Why on earth is there a shortage of GPs in the U.K.?

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  • CQC fees are high. How do they explain charging a practice for extra inspections that they describe themselves as for their own (CQC) 'control/ audit' purposes?

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