The CQC is set to hike inspection fees by nearly 50% for NHS trusts next year.
The health and care regulator’s consultation document, published today, sets out options for increasing fees next financial year, and describes a lighter touch approach to increases for social care providers.
Earlier this year the CQC decided to move to “full cost recovery” from providers over two years. The Department of Health said it would provide an extra £15m through the GP contract to cover the expense to GPs of the rise in 2016-17.
Single location GP providers with a list of 5,001-10,000 patients will see their fee increased from £2,574 to £4,526.
This is lower than the estimated figure of £4,839 set out in a CQC consultation last November, but still represents a 76% increase.
Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, BMA GP committee CQC lead, described the proposals as “scandalous”.
He said: “While NHS England has promised to reimburse GP practices for the increase in fees, it nevertheless will divert overstretched NHS funds from other budgets from frontline patient services to maintain a system of regulation and inspection in which the majority of GPs have little confidence
“The CQC is planning to significantly reduce the scale of its GP inspections which should lower the cost of regulation. This makes the proposal to increase its fees inexplicable and wholly unjustified. These increases need to be halted so that precious NHS resources are spent on providing care to patients and not feeding the bureaucracy of the current regulation and inspection programme.”
He pointed to a recent BMA survey which found that nine out of ten GPs felt the current inspection scheme was flawed and bureaucratic, with the vast majority reporting that it diverts GPs, nurses and other staff away from treating patients.
An NHS trust with a turnover of between £325m and £500m will see its fees increase from £195,519 to £288,912.
A GP practice with a list size over 15,000 patients will see it rise from £3,365 to £5,918.