Dental practices should not have to pay to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the British Dental Association (BDA) has argued.
The BDA’s submission to the CQC’s consultation on fees emphasises the financial pressures confronting dental practice, the failure of the CQC regime to add any value and the considerable time practices must invest in becoming registered, and concludes that a fee for registration would be inappropriate.
Furthermore, the response says, proposed registration fees could reduce dentists’ ability to invest in their practices.
The BDA’s response also stresses the particularly inequitable consequences of the CQC’s proposals for single-handed practices, pointing out the significantly higher proportion of small practices’ turnover that would have to be spent on registration compared to multi-practice dental chains.
Such practices, which are vital to the provision of dental care in rural and deprived areas, would contribute an average of 0.64% of their turnover to paying the proposed £1,500 fee, the BDA has calculated.
The BDA believes the CQC must reconsider the proposals and develop a charging policy based on evidence of potential harm to patients, the size of providers and a principle of equity.
Dr Susie Sanderson, chair of the BDA’s executive board, said: ‘The BDA consulted widely on these proposals, with members across the country contributing their thoughts on CQC registration fees.
‘There is palpable anger in the profession at these proposals, with the suggestion that single-dentist practices pay £1,500 attracting particularly strong criticism from dentists.
‘The BDA believes that it would be inappropriate for practitioners to be asked to pay for a piece of regulation that adds no value for their patients and potentially harms their ability to deliver patient care. We believe that CQC needs to think again, setting aside these flawed proposals and undertaking a thorough review of the relative risks of the services it regulates.’