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CQC to chase 500 practices not signed up for registration process

The Care Quality Commission is set to start chasing GP practices by telephone after it emerged that around 500 practices have not yet selected a window for registration with the regulator.

The latecomers are now set to be forced to complete their registration before many of their peers, as the CQC confirmed that all windows have been fully booked out except for the one that opens on 4 September.

Practices were asked earlier this summer to log on to the CQC website to pick one of four 28-day windows in which to complete their registration, running over the course of the last four months of 2012.

The practices that have yet to make contact with the CQC represent around 6% of the total 8,000 practices that the regulator had expected to enter the obligatory online process. All GP practices must have completed the full registration process by 1 April next year or run the risk of prosecution for practicing without a registration.

But a CQC spokesperson said that if a practice comes into registration late ‘for whatever reason' the regulator would work with them and make sure that they are allocated a registration window.

They added that there may also be fewer than 500 practices outstanding, as some practices operating from more than one location could have been sent two codes in error as each legal entity just needs to register once.

The spokesperson continued: ‘We are still on target, we are about where we expected to be at the moment and are pleased with the progress of getting practices signed up. We will be making phone calls to remind the few practices left to start their forms or let us know if we have sent out two or more codes to them for what is actually just one practice.

‘We have taken the details for GP practices from NHS contracts, so a GP practice may have more than one contract – but they would still be one legal entity and therefore only need to register with us once, even though they may have been sent two codes based on the NHS contract information.'