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Gerada: Regulatory admin burden on GPs must not hit frontline care

The ‘administrative burden' of revalidation, CQC registration and GP commissioning must not see GPs swamped with paperwork and dragged away from frontline care, the chair of the RCGP has warned.

Dr Clare Gerada, a GP in Kennington, London, told Pulse that the triple whammy of revalidation, new commissioning responsibilities and CQC registration requirements hitting GPs at the same time could ‘pose a problem'.

Her comments follow confirmation from the Department of Health that it will only delay CQC registration for GPs to April 2013, despite fears it will clash with revalidation and a raft of new responsibilities forced on GPs under the new health bill legislation.

Dr Gerada, who said the RCGP will help prepare GPs for CQC registration, revalidation requirements and commissioning, told Pulse: 'A lot is being asked of GPs. Revalidation, however, should not be a burden as much of the information is already used by appraisal. However, having revalidation, CQC and clinical commissioning groups all going live at the same time, at the end of the QOF season, could pose a problem for even the most organised practices.'

‘We need to make sure that patients do not lose out in the midst of all the requirements that are being put on GPs and practices. Patients should be our prime concern and we must make sure that the administrative burden of all the new changes do not remove GPs from front line patient care.' 

The GPC and medical defence organisations had urged the government to ‘radically rethink' the CQC registration plans and further relax the timetable, amid concerns a 2013 deadline will clash with the introduction of revalidation and GPs taking on commissioning responsibility. 

Dr Mike Devlin, MDU head of advisory services, said: ‘If GPs are required to register with the CQC at the same time as they are expected to provide all the information for revalidation…this would impose an unnecessary and potentially insupportable regulatory burden on them and their practice.'

In a strongly worded submission to the DH's consultation on CQC registration the GPC urged a ‘more flexible approach' to CQC registration and questioned the ‘CQC's capacity to manage the registration and compliance of all primary medical services providers from April 2013.'