By Christian Duffin
The Care Quality Commission has partly backed down from controversial plans to force GP practices with multiple branch surgeries to pay registration fees for each of their locations.
Pulse revealed earlier this month that the CQC was planning to monitor branch surgeries as ‘individual instances of care’, with each requiring separate forms and fees. But the commission said this week that it was now expecting most branches’ fees to be covered by the main practice location.
The CQC said policy on branch surgeries was being developed by piloting in Derbyshire.
A spokesperson said: ‘A branch surgery will only be a separate location if the regulated activity at that site is managed independently of the main practice. Branch surgeries will probably provide services to the same list of patients as the main practice. We expect most will be managed together and have the same systems. Therefore, they will often need to register as just the one location.’
Dr Philip Cox, a GP in Buxton, Derbyshire, said he had feared he would have to close one of his practice’s three surgeries if a separate fee had been attached to each one. He said the change was ‘a great movement, and a positive step forward’.
Code, a consultancy firm that has advised dentists on CQC registration, said this week it had been receiving 10-20 calls a week from GPs worried about CQC registration. A spokesperson said: ‘Doctors are saying they don’t understand what they will have to do. They fear it will be too overwhelming, and too much to do.’
CQC backs down on branch surgery fees Pulse on the CQC