GPs face a 9% increase in CQC fees from next year under proposals by the regulator which will add around £60 to the bill of an average practice.
A consultation by the regulator recommends the increase, which will apply to all providers it regulates with the exception of dentists, in order to match the costs associated with the ‘costs of our new methodology’.
This will result in an overall £8.7m increase in fees received by the CQC, but it comes as GP leaders have criticised the new regime for inspecting GP practices, with a GPC official stating that he found 41 errors in his practice’s inspection report.
Practices with more than one location face a huge hike in fees, of up to £1,384 for the largest practices.
Practices incurred a 2.5% hike in fees this April in an attempt to recoup the ‘full cost of regulation from registration fees’.
But the regulator has said this year that the 9% increase from April ‘represents a figure that shows our intention of matching our increases to the costs of our new methodology, but which acknowledges that we will not be able to be certain of our actual costs until we are in a steady state of delivery’.
It adds: ‘Anything lower fails to realise the ambition of matching to this increased level of regulation. Anything higher would have been possible while obtaining the same outcome. However we would reach a point where this would be difficult to continue to justify. We believe that it is best to be prudent under these circumstances and so are suggesting an increase no larger than 9%.’
GP leaders attacked the decision.
Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the GPC, said: ‘It is completely unacceptable. Practices are losing income, expenses are rising and we can ill afford to lose a penny, especially not to pay for the rapidly increasing bureaucracy that is the CQC.’