Practices are to be spared overall increases in fees to the Care Quality Commission in the coming year – but will not benefit from successful cost-cutting, it has been announced.
Some practices may face changes because of changes in patient numbers – but there will be no overall increase in fees, according to proposals published yesterday.
Next year the CQC plans to spend £217 million compared with £249 million in the year from 2015 to 2016 – a reduction of nearly 9%.
It proposes however to increase charges to community social care organisations by 6% – raising a total of £1.5 million. The latest proposals were published for consultation – and may lead to pressure for fees to be cut.
However the CQC says it has lost government funding – and is now paying for all its activities through fees. Changes for practices this year saw fees increase for larger practices and fall for smaller ones.
It says: “We are working to align our fees better with our costs, so that we will achieve cost recovery for each sector. These proposals are
our first steps along this path.”
Chief executive Ian Trenholm said: “Health and social care regulation makes a real and practical difference to people’s lives and there needs to be a strong, independent regulator who will always act on the side of people who use services.
“Protecting the public in this way has a financial cost. The fees paid by providers enable us to fulfil our purpose of making sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.
“The consultation proposals we have published today follow the plans we set out to meet the Treasury’s requirement to recover our chargeable costs in full from providers.”