Practices with a single branch will pay from up to £850 in CQC fees from April, with practices with more than location charged up to £15,000, the CQC has announced.
The regulator has confirmed that it will make little changes to its fee scheme after a consultation found the majority of GPs disagreed with the fees suggested and most contested the principle of having to pay any fees at all.
They will charge practices and out-of-hours providers £550 to £850 based on their list sizes. Practices with up to 5,000 patients will pay the minimum, while those with a list size more than 15,000 will pay the full £850.
Practices with more than one location will be charged based on the number of branches, regardless of list size. Those with two branches will pay £1,200, while those with more than 40 branches will pay £15,000.
A CQC spokesperson confirmed that practices could see a ‘step by step increase in fees’ each consecutive year as the CQC is required to fully cover the costs of registration and regulation.
However, fees for next year have not been set as they will carry out another public consultation in the autumn.
In their response to the consultation, the GPC called for the NHS Commissioning Board to pay practices’ CQC registration fees, as they were concerned the CQC would have no incentive to reduce inspections and fees for inspections if GP practices fund the inspections themselves.
This feeling was echoed by GPs who responded to the CQC’s consultation on the fees scheme. Some 81% of responses from the consultation were from individual GPs and dentists, with 60% saying they did not agree with the fee scheme set out for primary care medical service providers.
The CQC said that the majority of GPs who responded contested the principle of having to pay any fees at all for regulation, stating that the Government or other bodies should pay any fees being proposed.
The CQC also reported that many respondents felt very strongly that registration with CQC was unnecessary and unwarranted, and that to have to pay fees for something they didn’t want was a step too far.
The document also confirmed that out of hours providers will be charged under the same fee scheme.
CQC chief executive, David Behan, said: ‘Our purpose is to ensure people receive services which are safe and of high quality.
‘We have managed to keep the majority of fees unchanged this year, and introduced fees for GPs who are new to regulation, at 50% of estimated costs on a sliding scale so that small practices pay less than large ones’
Dr Richard Vautrey, a GPC negotiator, said practices would be angry at the news.
He said: ‘Practices will be angry that they will have to fork out yet more money at a time when the Government rejected the DDRB’s recommendation. Expenses are rising, funding is falling and there’s a constant stream of bills practices are expected to pay.
He expressed disappointment that the GPC’s suggestion that the NHS Commissioning Board should pay GPs CQC fees was ignored. He said: ‘Quite predictably the GPC’s response to this consultation has been ignored. The CQC is recovering costs at the direction of the Government. Its unfair that this is diff from hospital doctors, whose fees are paid by the hospital. In practices its coming out of GPs pockets so they are quite rightly angry. The Government is ignoring GPs’ concerns.’
|Bands- locations||List size||Fees- £|
|1||0 to 5000||550|
|1||50001 to 10,000||650|
|1||10,0001 to 15, 000||750|
|1||more than 15, 000||850|
|6 to 10||N/A||3000|
|11 to 40||N/A||6000|
|more than 40||N/A||15,000|
Pulse Live: 30 April – 1 May, Birmingham
Stephen Dorrell, chair of the House of Commons health select committee, will be talking about where general practice will fit into the NHS of the future at Pulse Live, Pulse’s new two-day annual conference for GPs, practice managers and primary care managers.
Pulse Live offers practical advice on key clinical and practice business topics, as well as an opportunity to debate the future of the profession, and a top range of speakers includes NICE chair designate Professor David Haslam, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey and the Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP, chair of the House of Commons health committee.
To find out more and book your place, please click here.