The Care Quality Commission has announced its fees for the next financial year. The CQC fees for 2018-19 come after a public consultation which ran from October to January.
In a letter to providers, Chief Executive, David Behan explained that the fees paid by providers enable CQC to fulfil its purpose of making sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.
Following the consultation, CQC has made a number of decisions on its fees scheme for the coming year. These are separated into two themes tailored to each sector is regulates.
The first was to remove CQC's banding structure and charge fees in proportion to a provider’s size. For community social care providers, CQC will charge fees in proportion to the number of service users at a location.
CQC has announced that it will also introduce a minimum (floor) and a maximum (ceiling) fee for community social care providers and NHS GPs. David Behan said that, 'This will ensure that there is no distortion due to outliers, and is particularly an issue where the range of the size of providers is large.'
Mr Behan went on to explain that, 'Only the community social care sector will see an overall increase in fees, in line with our agreed four-year trajectory to full chargeable cost recovery.'
Examples given in the letter are:
- A community social care provider with one location and 15 service users will see their fee decrease from £2,192 to £926.
- A community social care provider with three locations and 50, 100 and 45 service users at each of the locations will see their fee increase from £6,093 to £9,643.
In response to these announcements, Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum said, 'NCF acknowledges that CQC is progressing to full cost recovery through regulatory fees and that grant in aid from the Department of Health and Social Care is reducing.
'However today’s announcement for community social care providers, where most will see an increase in their fees, whilst expected will not be welcome.
'NCF members support independent regulation and inspection, but the increase in fees will further add to the challenges that providers face which have been so clearly articulated by the CQC themselves.
'Seven days ago, Jeremy Hunt announced his seven principles of social care reform. This is an opportunity for him to take action and stop the escalator of fee rises for care provision, and bring the core principle of sustainable funding into each and every current government decision that has a direct impact on the fragile care sector. This is one piece of reform that does not need to wait for a Green Paper – press the button and stop the fee escalator now.'