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CQC proposed fees system breaks cost neutrality pledge

The NHS Confederation has expressed its disappointment that Care Quality Commission's pledge to keep registration fees cost neutral has not been honoured.

The NHS Confederation has responded to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) consultation on proposed registration fees structure for 2011/12.

Senior policy manager Frances Blunden said:  “NHS organisations have spoken very clearly about the CQC’s proposed fees system and it is clear a number of issues have to be sorted out.

"Firstly, to our knowledge, there is nothing in the consultation that will ensure CQC registration is cost neutral – despite promises when registration fees were introduced, it would be. 

“Trusts took on these fees based on this promise but it has so far not been honoured and that is deeply disappointing. This is not something CQC can address so we hope the Government will take this point up.”

Matter of principle

Ms Blunden added: “Trusts still question a system in which the regulator is paid for entirely by the organisations it regulates and does not allow those organisations effective consultation on its work plan. This is what trusts would expect as a matter of principle and what the government has asked for when it set out the principles of better regulation. 

“CQC fees could be as high as £115,000 for some organisations with increases of up to 67%. In the current financial climate, NHS organisations believe the CQC should be more transparent about how its fees relate to the cost of regulating each sector, what future rates are likely to be and how close fees are to full cost recovery."

Read our response in full

Read our response in full on our Regulation web pages.

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