The “consultation” ended on 15th January, so all you can do now is wait to see if the GPC manages to put a stop to this. In the meantime, if you missed this, and can’t be bothered to read the 46 page document, here is a quick summary.

What is it about:

The CQC is aiming to become self-financing as it will no longer be subsidised as much by the government Grant in aid (GIA). Overall, the CQC is running at a loss of some £110m per annum, and if the government does not fund this, then the fees to cover this has to come from the providers.
For GPs, CQC costs £40m to run, but with the GIA of £18.7m the shortfall every year is 21.3m, which is to be recovered by raising fees.

What it means for you

For GPs: Fees will rise by 567%, from £616 to £4,111 (for small practices)
For Community Social Care: Fees will rise by 312%, from £796 to £3,287
For Dentists: It’s a discount of 15%.

What are the choices?

The consultation offered these choices:-

  1. Would you like fees increased over 2 years or 4? Whatever you choose, you will eventually face an increase.
  2. How else do you suggest we get this, let’s have your suggestions. The choice is basically either you pay your own share or we spread it so others chip in to pay your share.

In raw numbers, if you are paying £616 now, the choice is “Would you like to pay £9,809 in fees over the next 4 years or £14,520?” and if you don’t agree, do you think someone else should pay your share?

Are Dentists getting off lightly?

On the face of it, it would look like Dentists are escaping this, and even getting a reduction of 15% in 2017/2018. The question they’re asked “Is it ok if we reduce your fees?” 10,000 dentists will likely vote Yes.

All is not as it seems though, Dentists are not being charged any extra because they were paying their full share right from the beginning as the BDA did not raise as much of a protest as the BMA and GPC, resulting in a very low fee start for GPs.

In essence, what the numbers say is that GPs have been underpaying by 85% and conversely 10,102 Dentists have lost out by paying an extra 85% by comparison, for 4 years from 2011/12, that equates to paying £1,100 per annum instead of just £165 for a “5 chair practice”, a net loss of some £3,750 over the period.

What will higher fees bring for you?

The first thing one would have expected is an increase in the number of inspectors top cope with the considerable backlog on target visits, however the cost budget stays the same as last year, without any obvious indication of an increased workforce, or even inflation for that matter.

We suspect that the changes will come from hints from Prof Field about how his practice expects fewer visits as they have a system of self-assessment and the changes by CQC itself, where a single CQC inspectors will be assigned per CCG.

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