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CQC delay ‘will not ease regulatory load’

17 August 2011

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Practices face “an unnecessary and potentially unsupportable regulatory burden” as the new deadline for registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) coincides with other demands on GPs, a medicolegal organisation has warned.

Last week it was confirmed the CQC registration for GP practices in England would be delayed by a year until April 2013 following a government consultation.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has welcomed the decision but expressed concern that the proposed new date will clash with other changes, bringing “considerable administrative challenges for GPs,” said Dr Mike Devlin, the MDU’s head of advisory services.

Dr Devlin said: “We supported the decision to postpone GP registration with the CQC so that the process could be streamlined. We hope lessons will be learned from the problems encountered with the registration by CQC of providers of primary dental care, where only 1,107 of over 9,000 practices were registered by the end of March 2011.”

However, Dr Devlin pointed to other requirements, including proposed commissioning changes set out in the Health Bill to begin in 2013, and the introduction of GP revalidation planned for 2012.

“If GPs were required to register with CQC at the same time as they are expected to provide all the information required for revalidation, we believe this would impose an unnecessary and potentially insupportable regulatory burden on them and on their practice,” he said.

“Of course, the public must be protected but it would seem counter-productive to schedule mandatory registration with CQC for a time at which it is already clear there will be other equally pressing demands on GPs’ time.”

Do you agree with Dr Devlin? What’s your view? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“Yes I do agree with Dr Devlin. However, having supported a PCT through the process in 2010 it is not as onerous as might be expected. The standards are not new & all well run organisations should be delivering services to that level already. I believe that most practices will have all the information already. It just a case of having it readily available should the CQC ask to see it. I would suggest that practices start now by assessing their services against the standards.  This will allow them to identify & address any gaps early. Would be happy to discuss how we did it – and survived!” – Siobhain O’Donnell, Kent

“No registration is long overdue” – Caroline Birch, location withheld