An increase in regulatory fees announced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has seen the cost for a single location GP practice with between 5,001 and 10,000 patients soar to £2,574.
The CQC announced increases in its fees to cover the cost of regulation.
They mean that a single location surgery with 5,001 to 10,000 patients on its books will have to pay an extra £1,849 next year, instead of the current £725 fee.
The fees see an increase from £948 to £3,365 for a practice with more than 15,000 patients.
A single location community social care provider such as a care home will pay an extra £573 under the new charges.
The move follows a consultation and the CQC’s chief executive David Behan said he understood the scheme was “not the one the majority of those who took part in our consultation would prefer”.
He said the CQC had to reduce its budget by at least £32 million.
The CQC is funded by grants for the Department of Health as well as fees paid by providers.
Government policy meant it had to increase fees so it can recover the chargeable coasts of regulating health and adult social care in England, it said.
Respondents to its consultation preferred funds to be recovered over four years.
However, the CQC grant-in-aid available after the Government’s Spending Review meant it had to recommend two years to meet its statutory obligations.
Behan said: ‘The fees paid by providers is the charge for entering and remaining in a regulated sector. The public deserves nothing less than safe, high-quality and compassionate health and adult social care.”
Dr Steve Kell (pictured), NHS Clinical Commissioners co-chair, said he was disappointed that the CQC had not listened to its members who took part in their consultation.
He said: “We still remain concerned about the impact that the proposed fee increases will have on the services that our members commission for patients.
“Although there has been additional funding announced for GP practices to cover these fees, this money would be better spent on direct frontline patient care rather than supporting a regulatory regime that has yet to prove itself to be efficient in carrying out its statutory duties or effective in delivering meaningful improvements in quality.”
The NHS Confederation’s chief executive Rob Webster commented that “this major hike in fees will leave a sour taste for our members, who will not be able to recognise how their views were reflected in the final decision taken”.
Click here to see the 2016/17 fees