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Independents' Day

'Preparing for CQC registration cost my practice £26,000'

We have spent quite a lot on CQC registration. Overall we’ve spent about £26,000 but we are hoping to get 66% reimbursed from the PCT. Like a lot of surgeries we’re two semi-detached houses knocked into one, so there’s a lot of work to be done to be compliant.

We have spent money on DDA compliance; we made a wheelchair ramp and widened the pathway. We got a new door that you can press a button to enter and lowered the reception desk and put a shutter in.

We also widened the waiting room door for wider access and made a proper disabled toilet with baby changing facilities and an alarm.

We’ve done the flooring, so all the practice will have ‘safe flooring’- a sort of vinyl floor. We also have to get all the sinks changed to make it compliant.

We ordered a new couch as the old one in one of the consulting rooms was wooden. We’re also going to have a look at the electrics, because the lighting needs to be sorted out.

Then of course we’ve done an asbestos survey. We’ll also have a look at the security because we had a break in recently-so we’ll have to look at fencing and security lights.

So you can see the list is endless and we’ve got a lot more to do. The practice manager is here most weekends, because we don’t want to get in patients’ way - the practice has been open business as usual throughout this. Staff stay on after work at weekends and evenings to supervise the building work going on. The staff have really been put out and the whole process has added to the administrative burden of the practice.

What we find most frustrating is the deadlines for reimbursement. The CQC and the PCT have set very strict deadlines and strict criteria and it’s been stressful. We’re spending money up front, and we don’t know if we’ll get it back, which is frightening and has a big effect in terms of the practice cashflow.

But we have had a meeting with our PPG and they liked the changes. It has made it a nicer environment to work in.

Dr Cerian Choi is a GP partner in Cricklewood in north-west London

Readers' comments (11)

  • This is causing GP surgeries a real headache along with everything else we are doing such as QOF, LES, DES , QIPP and now CQC. How much more do we have to go through. Stress levels amongst Practice Managers are at an extreme high with lack of support from PCT's and CCG's

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  • Don't blame the CQC. All this has nothing to do with CQC.
    DDA came into effect in 1995, so you were non-compliant for 18 years.
    Health & Safety Act has been in force since 1974 - so you have been non-compliant for 39 years.
    Infection control goes back to Florence Nightingale, but you ought to have at least looked at the DOH guidance of 2008 - so you have been non-compliant for at least 5 years.

    What the CQC has done is forced practices to become compliant, else it would have been business as usual. Be grateful you got away with not spending the £26k long long ago

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  • I would like to know what the practice has spent the funding it has had since these acts came in on? It obvioulsy hadnt spent them on what they were meant to be spent on

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  • To the anonymous comment who seems to know everything about compliance there is to know... I was non-compliant for 18 and 39 years respectively... i have never had a problem. My patients are happy, my staff are happy, none of the furniture has broken nor have the walls collapsed on my patients... And i am sure that is the case UK wide. So we are right to blame the CQC for this very expensive and time consuming process of registering and "complying"

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  • Practices spend money to improve patient care not redesign buildings!!! You either spend time and money on focusing on patients care or you spend it elsewhere... you cant have your cake and eat it!!

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  • By compliant, earlier commentators might have said obeying the law, however annoying that might be

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  • I'm sorry to tell you that you didn't need to change the carpets or get an electrically operated door and possibly quite a few of the other things that no doubt your PCT told you. I was told all this and it is incorrect. The CQC press officer has advised that they are very concerned that false rumours are being spread about these things by PCTs. They categorically told me that they are not required. You are merely required to have a policy for cleaning the carpet if someone is sick on it and regularly deep cleaning it eg every few months. Also there only needs to be good access for the disabled not electric doors. In addition you can have cuddly toys and soft furnishings as long as they are kept clean.

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  • I fully agree that complying with the law is a waste of time. We should only be forced to comply AFTER it is proven that there has been some injury.

    We ought to get this message out to all the hospitals; dentists; opticians; restaurants; railways; and airlines that minimum standards are a waste of time and they too should have the same privileges as a GP.

    It is so unfair that only GPs should be above the law ..... everyone should be above the law.

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  • CQC didn't create the rules - they just have to enforce them. If you want to complain to someone, complain to HSE, DH, or whatever government body decided you needed wheelchair ramps, automatic door openers, etc...

    CQC is just the messenger in all this - they didn't just decide one morning at a board meeting "Hey, I know, let's regulate GPs as well as everyone else!". This (along with the rules you managed to flout for 18 years) was foist upon them by Whitehall.

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  • As a patient, I am delighted that revalidation has made Dr. Choi spend £26,000. Before she put in the disabled ramps, etc, her surgery sounded dangerously sub-standard. Are many other surgeries as bad as hers? If so, God bless revalidation. Money well spent.

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  • For GP Missionery work CQC regisrtation with its costs and fees make it impossble.GPs will be forced to pass costs of perparing for CQC to a suffering patient despite economic woes.Is there nobobody to help the poor and downtodden.Margaret thatcher making doctors work a business has come full circle

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