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The waiting game

The increase in CQC fees is appalling - sign our petition to show your support

James Dillon

From James Dillon, director of Practice Index

The latest proposal to increase fees payable to the Care Quality Commission for primary care registration by 567% is appalling.

According to many of the practice managers we work with at Practice Index this will financially cripple many primary care providers and will negatively impact upon service provision. Practices will be forced to close branch surgeries in order to move down a bracket in the fee structure, i.e. pay less fees for one site rather than two. Practices will have no option but to cut services and personnel in order to meet the extortionate fee currently being suggested. Such an action would be damaging to the patient/doctor relationship and would discriminate against the most vulnerable patients. Those with disabilities, elderly patients, or those too ill to travel to other branch sites would be hardest hit. This would conflict with the CQC commitment to ensure ’that people receive safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care.’

We know this is a major concern for practices. A blog on this issue on our site by PM Nicola Hayward has been our most popular to date and a petition has already gathered almost 1,000 signatures. We are therefore urgently calling for  a review of the primary care registration fees structure. A rise in fees of 567% is not justified in any way.

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Readers' comments (19)

  • This hike in fees cannot be justified in current climate, when it offers nothing more for the increase.

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  • Has CQC not been told that we are living in a disinflationary environment.

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  • To be honest, I think we should all refuse them access to our surgeries, and refuse outright to fund them.

    Bunch of idiots on the gravy train.

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  • I agree all of us should refuse to pay CQC fees and say we do not want to be registered. What can they do? strike all of us ??? I doubt very much. If we are united no organisation/government has enough guts to strike all of us, because if all stop working for 2 day this government will collapse. But reality is Unfortunately we will not unite and will keep on paying fees and some people will come out and take their frustration out on platform like this. Our leaders wont learn from Junior doctors, They showed that if united they can get moron Hunt to do U turn and start negotiations.

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  • Is there some misunderstanding re branch surgeries? If you have "normal" branch surgeries you still only pay the CQC fee for one site. You don't pay a fee for each site/branch. You only pay a fee per site if the branch is really a separate entity with a completely separate list and separately managed. I suspect that some practices have incorrectly assessed themselves as being two or more separate sites and paying too high CQC fees when in CQC's definition they are really just 1 site.

    Perhaps someone can enlighten me, but I didn't see in CQCs proposal about the new fees that they are going to change the exisiting rules and make practices pay per branch.

    Yes the increase is obscene, but I suspect that some practices are incorrectly already paying far too much and are simply rolling that error forward into the proposed new fees, thus falsely though unknowingly exaggerating the new rate they would have to pay.

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  • That's an interesting comment from the Anonymous Practice Manager and I'm afraid I don't fully understand the 'rules' regarding branch surgeries. Perhaps the PM here could provide a link to the relevant detail within CQC that will help those PMs with branch surgeries to ensure that they are paying the correct fee. It would be really very helpful and perhaps allay some fears. That said, the fees are still going to rise and will still cause many surgeries financial hardship, but any additional info at this stage would be great. Thanks in anticipation.

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  • CQC is not our choices & there was a time when fees like these were centrally funded and part of our renumeration from the central bodies. Increasingly fees like this are not reimbersed and come out of our ever decreasing income. It's things like this that are strangling general practice.

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  • Soon rent is also not reimbursed and will be clubbed with global sum .

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  • CQC are a bunch of Jeremy Hunts.

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  • Nicola -

    which states-
    "A branch surgery will be a location if it is managed independently of a main surgery, and is static and fully-equipped to provide the regulated activities.
    A branch surgery will not be a location if it is managed from the main GP surgery,"

    Also BMA guidance-

    which states-
    "In the CQC’s definition of a location, they count each place where people may be treated as a location if the regulated activities provided in these places are managed independently.

    In practice, this generally means that each separate GP surgery, walk-in centre, etc will be classed as a location. If you have a single GP practice, this will also be classed as one location.

    However, if you have a main surgery and branch surgeries associated with the main surgery, you can include the branch surgeries under the main surgery’s location. This is the case as long as only patients from the same registered patient list are seen or treated at all of these places. If the branch surgery treats patients from a different registered patient list to that of the main surgery, it will need to be included in your registration as a location in its own right."

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