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‘Preparing for CQC registration cost my practice £26,000’

We have spent quite a lot on CQC registration. Overall we’ve spent about £26,000 but we are hoping to get 66% reimbursed from the PCT. Like a lot of surgeries we’re two semi-detached houses knocked into one, so there’s a lot of work to be done to be compliant.

We have spent money on DDA compliance; we made a wheelchair ramp and widened the pathway. We got a new door that you can press a button to enter and lowered the reception desk and put a shutter in.

We also widened the waiting room door for wider access and made a proper disabled toilet with baby changing facilities and an alarm.

We’ve done the flooring, so all the practice will have ‘safe flooring’- a sort of vinyl floor. We also have to get all the sinks changed to make it compliant.

We ordered a new couch as the old one in one of the consulting rooms was wooden. We’re also going to have a look at the electrics, because the lighting needs to be sorted out.

Then of course we’ve done an asbestos survey. We’ll also have a look at the security because we had a break in recently-so we’ll have to look at fencing and security lights.

So you can see the list is endless and we’ve got a lot more to do. The practice manager is here most weekends, because we don’t want to get in patients’ way - the practice has been open business as usual throughout this. Staff stay on after work at weekends and evenings to supervise the building work going on. The staff have really been put out and the whole process has added to the administrative burden of the practice.

What we find most frustrating is the deadlines for reimbursement. The CQC and the PCT have set very strict deadlines and strict criteria and it’s been stressful. We’re spending money up front, and we don’t know if we’ll get it back, which is frightening and has a big effect in terms of the practice cashflow.

But we have had a meeting with our PPG and they liked the changes. It has made it a nicer environment to work in.

Dr Cerian Choi is a GP partner in Cricklewood in north-west London