• CQC launches consultation on 2017-18 fee increases
  • BMA calls proposals for GP fees “wholly unjustified”
  • Community social care providers could have lighter touch fee rises

The Care Quality Commission has proposed fee increases for providers in 2017-18. It has been attacked over the plan for some GP practices to pay up to 76 per cent more.

The British Medical Association’s GP committee called the proposed increases “scandalous”, “inexplicable” and “wholly unjustified”.

David Behan

David Behan

The CQC decided to move to ‘full cost recovery’ last year

The CQC’s consultation document, published today, sets out options for increasing fees next financial year, and describes a lighter touch approach to increases for social care providers.

The regulator also proposes fee increases of nearly 50 per cent for NHS trusts and foundations trusts (see table).

Earlier this year the CQC decided to move to “full cost recovery” from providers over two years. The Department of Health said it would provide an extra £15m through the GP contract to cover the expense to GPs of the rise in 2016-17. A DH spokeswoman said at the time that the funding will be recurrent in future years and any funding additional to that will be assessed at a later date.

Single location GP providers with a list of 5,001-10,000 patients will see their fee increased from £2,574 to £4,526 (see table). This is lower than the estimated figure of £4,839 set out in a CQC consultation last November, but stil a 76 per cent increase.

Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, the BMA GP committee’s CQC lead, said: “This is a scandalous proposed increase in fees that could see GP practices being charged an extortionate 76 per cent rise in their CQC costs.

“While NHS England has promised to reimburse GP practices for the increase in fees, it nevertheless will divert overstretched NHS funds from other budgets from frontline patient services to maintain a system of regulation and inspection in which the majority of GPs have little confidence.

“The CQC is planning to significantly reduce the scale of its GP inspections which should lower the cost of regulation.

“This makes the proposal to increase its fees inexplicable and wholly unjustified. These increases need to be halted so that precious NHS resources are spent on providing care to patients and not feeding the bureaucracy of the current regulation and inspection programme.”

Proposed fees change for NHS trusts and foundation trusts

Trust/FT turnoverActual fee 2016-17Proposed fee 2017-18
Up to £75,000,000 £78,208 £115,565
From £75,000,001 to £125,000,000 £107,536 £158,902
From £125,000,001 to £225,000,000 £136,864 £202,239
From £225,000,001 to £325,000,000 £166,243 £245,652
From £325,000,001 to £500,000,000 £195,519 £288,912
More than £500,000,000 £224,847 £332,249

Proposed 2017-18 CQC fees for GP providers

Single location providersCurrent feeProposed 2017-18 fee

List size up to 5,000 patients



List size between 5,001 and 10,000 patients



List size between 10,001 and 15,000 patients



List size over 15,000 patients




Multiple location providers


Two locations



Three locations



Four locations



Five locations



6-10 locations



11-40 locations



40+ locations



NHS Providers head of policy Amber Davenport said: “The cost increases threaten to have a particularly destabilising impact on GPs and adult social care providers, with a knock-on impact on our members, who will be faced with the double whammy of absorbing the extra demand from these sectors.

“The government urgently needs to address how best to fund providers to pay for these fee increases through the national tariff, CCG budgets and other payment mechanisms, so that more of providers’ already stretched resources are not diverted away from frontline care. With performance against access standards at an all time low, and funding set to plummet further in 2017-18 and 2018-19, this is now critical.”

CQC attacked over 'scandalous' fee increase proposal