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DH approves CQC fee increase despite opposition

The Government has approved new legislation that allows the CQC to increase their fees to cover the costs of inspections.

The CQC has already said that it is raising fees for providers, including GPs, because the Treasury will no longer subsidise the regulator’s inspection costs.

But a consultation by the DH to introduce the necessary legislation to allow the CQC to charge more has revealed that most health bodies are against the changes, and question the CQC’s value for money.

In a summary on its consultation the DH wrote: ‘The Department intends to bring performance assessments, and the comprehensive inspections that are carried out in support of these assessments, within the scope of the CQC’s fee raising powers.

’Respondents were not in favour of the CQC increasing its fees in general; had concerns about value for money, and about the potential to increase the scope of inspections.’

The DH document stated it expects the CQC to control its costs and set fees in line with the true economic cost of inspection, and the reduced number of follow-up inspections in future years could contribute this.

It finishes: ‘Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Government will now introduce a regulation that will give the CQC a power to charge fees for performance assessments and reviews carried out under Section 46 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

The CQC sparked outrage last year with a separate consultation over its planned fee increase which could see practices’ registration costs increase six-fold over two to four years.

But the Government has covered part of this increase in the latest funding uplift of 3.2% for practices.