Taking away funding for Care Quality Commission (CQC) practice registration work under the proposed GP contract changes has been labelled “bizarre” by the BMA.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, lead negotiator at the British Medical Association’s GP Committee, said the CQC GP regulation process will be made “less attractive and a lot harder” through the removal of the organisational standards.
“This will mean the entire CQC requirements will be unresourced work and will feel very much like a kick in the teeth for a number of GPs,” he said.
Dr Nagpaul estimates there are around 130 to 150 points for “organisational” practice tasks, such as record-keeping, CQC registration, employee appraisals and health and safety.
“At a time when the government is imposing CQC registration on practices, it seems bizarre that it is choosing to remove the funding to deliver this work,” he said.
“We need to move away from the idea the quality and outcomes framework is only about achievement, the work associated with the delivery of achieving those standards also needs to be recognised.”
He said the government proposals for the new GP contract are a “double whammy” for GPs not only will they have to work harder in other areas, they will effectively face a pay cut as many use external companies to carry out much of their ‘organisational’ work.
“The Care Quality Commission recognises there is a regulatory burden on any provider required to register under the Health and Social Care Act and has consulted widely with GPs to make sure that the process of registration does not place unnecessary additional burden on GPs or practice staff,” said a spokesperson from the CQC.
“The information which is required for registration is already available as part of the running of a patient focused practice. We will continue to liaise with GPs and their sector representatives and welcome these opportunities for feedback.”
The government’s proposals, released yesterday (Tuesday 23 October), will also serve to “undermine” the negotiating process between the BMA and NHS Employers and the trust in the process, said Dr Nagpaul.
”We in good faith spent formidable time with the employers to see that whole process discarded in favour of a top down approach undermines the government’s pronouncement that the service is be run without the involvement of the top,” he said.