The majority of NHS trusts will see a reduction in Care Quality Commission fees from next month – but some providers could see costs jump by more than £160,000.
The regulator has announced changes to its annual fee structure following a public consultation last year.
The fees cover the costs of the regulation of each organisation, including NHS trusts, GP surgeries and community social care providers.
Fees will be calculated individually for each organisation with around 75 per cent of NHS trusts expected to see a reduction and 25 per cent receiving an increase.
NHS trusts with a turnover of £120m will see their fees fall from £158,902 to £85,200 a year. A trust with a turnover of £681m will see fees increase from £322,249 to £483,510.
In its regulatory impact assessment, the CQC said: “We have not opted for either a floor or a ceiling. The smallest provider has a turnover of £50m and the largest a turnover of £1,546m. So, the largest provider is nearly 31 times larger than the smallest, which is a small range compared to other sectors, so the fee divergence is not unreasonable. Under the current scheme, the largest provider would only be paying a fee only three times greater than the smallest provider.”
Other fee changes coming into effect from April include:
- GPs with one location and a patient list size of 5,200 will have their fee decrease from £4,526 to £3,473.
- A GP provider with two locations and patient list sizes of 10,000 and 8,300 at each of the locations will see their fee increase from £8,371 to £11,449.
- Community social care providers with one location and 15 service users will see their fee decrease from £2,192 to £926.
- Community social care providers 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.
For all other sectors the fees are unchanged from 2017-18.
The CQC is required by the government to move to a position where it fully recovers the chargeable costs of regulating health and social care providers.
Its budget is being reduced from £236m in 2016-17 to £217m by 2019-20 with funding from government reducing from £85m to £18m over the same period.
The regulator said for most providers the fees now cover the costs of regulation and the changes aim to ensure fees “continue to be charged and distributed fairly”.
It added: “Our fees for 2018-19 represent 0.16 per cent of overall indicative turnover of the health and social care market.”
New guidance on the fees has been published on the CQC’s website.