So, you knew this was coming, this rant, it’s no surprise really. Yes, CQC has finally decided what they’re going to do in terms of fees for the 2016/17 year. They had a consultation which was pretty one-sided to be frank…”Responses expressed strong preference for achieving full chargeable cost recovery over four years…” Yet, not only did they IGNORE the strong preference by picking the two year option on the consultation document, I think actually Professor Field, we didn’t want full cost recovery at all!
If you go onto the CQC website in the fees section, there is a ‘fees calculator’ and based on the number of locations you have and the number of patients, it will spew out a figure – no doubt picked at random, doubled, move the decimal point, take away the number you first thought of and hey ho, whadda ya know… an increase of over 200% on last year’s fees. Better than an increase of over 500% but still not great.
There’s supposed to be some sort of uplift to Primary Care income to ‘pay us back’ for this ‘Dick Turpin-esque’ approach to daylight robbery but until I see it in my end-of-month statement, I won’t believe it – just like I don’t believe the bare faced cheek/brass neck of Professor Field – supposedly a jobbing GP who has the best interests of our patients at heart – errrr don’t the vast majority of us already have the best interests of our patients at heart, that’s why we’re doing the job we’re doing! If we didn’t have their best interests at heart, we’d be ignoring the queue outside the door, we wouldn’t be working all the flamin’ hours of the day and night to provide a service that Mr Bloody Hunt has said is their God-given right… best breathe here for a moment… phew!
I’m still waiting on our CQC report some eight weeks after the spectres came in, sorry, Inspectors came in. I have returned it with a Factual Accuracy Report – if they’re going to say things about my practice, they must be consistent in their approach so the ‘cut and paste’ technique isn’t quite appropriate. I’m not worried about the report, I just want it to be accurate – and I think for the extortionate amount they’re charging for this bit of paper, I’m justified in asking for that as a minimum.
So, what are we going to get back in return for our higher-than-inflation fee? Well, sweet F-A if you ask me. The cynic in me believes CQC is a ploy to rid the country of single handed practices – and Jezza wants us all to be partners in PrimaryCare.com… a conglomerate of merged surgeries where patients take a ticket (much like at the deli counter), sit and wait, never see the same GP twice, but can go to see that anonymous GP at any time of the day or night. Oh and while they’re there, we’ll do all their QOF stuff, their bloods, their smear, their prostate exam (not on the same person obviously!) – in fact, we’ll do anything they want, because we are here to serve!
And on that note… pass the gin and the razors…