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CQC slashes pay for GP specialist inspectors

Exclusive The CQC has slashed the rate it pays the GP special advisors on its inspections teams in a cost-cutting measure, despite practices facing a 600% fee hike.

The regulator told the GP special advisors that it was cutting pay by 12.07% – or £58 – per inspection, citing a need to contain costs in a ‘reduced financial model’.

GP leaders said that it shows how little they value their specialist workforce, who are essential to fairer inspections, and raises questions about where the 600% increase in fees over two years is being spent.

But Pulse also understands that the CQC may have to shell out backdated holiday pay for the majority of its GP specialist advisors (SpA) workforce - although it has not told this directly to its workforce.

This change to SpA pay is part of a new contract that has been imposed on all advisers on its books, including the 548 GP inspectors. 

As advisers are employed under a casual worker arrangement, the CQC can legally change their terms unilaterally, with the new contract coming in from 19 September.

The new arrangements have come about after the regulator realised that only 13% of its SpAs were being paid holiday pay that they were entitled to.

This means that it will be faced with claims for backdated holiday pay from the remainder of the GP SpA workforce.

In an attempt to mitigate future costs, the CQC slashed the basic pay from £540 to £482 per inspection.

GP SpAs will still be paid £540 overall, but this will incorporate holiday pay. They are currently entitled to fees of around £605.

A CQC spokesperson told Pulse: ‘When we reviewed our payment structure for specialist advisors, it became clear that only a small number received holiday pay while a larger number did not.

‘To ensure CQC meets its legal obligations, holiday pay is now included the daily rate.

‘This means that for the majority who did not receive holiday pay in addition to the fee, there is no change, but for minority who did, this is a reduction in the total received.’

Dr Robert Morley chair of the GPC’s contracts and regulation subcommittee told Pulse: ‘It’s a pity that CQC doesn’t recognise the value of recruiting high quality GP advisors. I’d have thought that cutting their pay would be the last thing they’d want to do but clearly not.

’It begs the question as to what CQC is now spending its money on following its massive hike in GP registration fees. They’ve probably decided it needs to go on more expensive lawyers following the recent embarrassments over information governance and in the High Court.’

Specialist advisors were introduced as part of the CQC’s overhauled inspection regime and a GP now attends on every visit.

In the early days of the regime Pulse revealed the watcdog had been sending untrained GPs to inspections to ‘fill in gaps’ in their inspections.

The CQC’s decision to hike their fees 600% in just two years, came despite the majority of respondents to its consultation advising a slower introduction of the new fees.

 

 

Readers' comments (10)

  • No problem, the GP advisers are GPs so as usual they will bend over and accept it, GPs always do.

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  • we feel their pain!!(NOT) Probably the rest of us should see this as the good news & fair play story of the week!

    All we need now is for the evil minded smiling death type lead inspectors to get a proper comeuppance & it will make my week!!!

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  • Ha Ha one of worst jobs to have. CQC is trying to beat market forces and was running short GPs in recent past as published in pulse. Working as associate inspectors with lead GP who may not know anything about General practice except 10 days training and tick boxing but can decide things. Will serve the CQC right when people with self respect refuse to join this rubbish.

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  • Correction to above. Amend Lead GP to Lead inspector.

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  • I think it would be reasonable for GCP/RCGP to demand all CQC inspections have active practicing GP's leading the inspections.

    A manager with a tick box approach is just not good enough.

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  • I though the retired GP inspecting my Practice would actually demolish my small instruments as he played with every single pulse oximeter trying to find something to latch on to. Good riddance, at lost those in retiring age will retire and let us be in peace. It's enough that we have Appraisers who should long be playing with grand children - without being ageist- or those looking 90 at educational meetings asking questions that make your jaw drops.
    CQC is saving money and people joining this organization should be screened for MH megalomania before they are let loose on us.

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  • So, the not paying holiday pay to casual workers thing... The CQC has broken UK employment law. Unbelievable!

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  • You pay peanuts....you get monkeys. No change then

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  • Prediction: Approx Jan 2017 - CQC falls behind inspection rate as lack of GP SpAs bites.

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  • Peter Swinyard

    I hope that the Chief Inspector has also taken a pay cut - leading from the front etc etc......
    OK, silly me.

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