Dentists are being promised cuts in their inspection fees – while some GPs will see their charges more than treble.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has unveiled plans to move to ‘full chargeable cost recovery’ from next April, to reduce its reliance on Government funds.
The move spells bad news for family doctors.
A GP with a single practice could see its CQC fee soar from £725 to £2,574 in a single year – an eye-watering rise of 255%.
But dentists, many of whom have been fiercely critical of their hefty inspection bills, are already fully covering those costs, the regulator says.
As a result, fees will be frozen in 2016-17 – and will fall in the following financial year, under a consultation launched yesterday (2 November).
The proposed fees for single location dentists – which will then be frozen until 2019-20 – are:
- One chair – £600 (2015-16), £600 (2016-17), then £510 (2017-18)
- Two chairs – £750 falling to £638
- Three chairs – £850 falling to £723
- Four chairs – £950 falling to £808
- Five and six chairs – £1,100 falling to £935
- More than six chairs – £1,300 falling to £1,105.
Meanwhile, for multiple location dentists, the proposed new fees are:
- Two locations – £1,600 (2015-16), £1,600 (2016-17), then £1,360 (2017-18)
- Three locations – £2,400 falling to £2,040
- Four locations – £3,200 falling to £2,720
- Five locations – £4,000 falling to £3,400
- Six to 10 locations – £4,800 falling to £4,080
- 11 to 40 locations – £10,000 falling to £8,500
- 41 to 99 locations – £30,000 falling to £25,500
- More than 99 locations – £60,000 falling to £51,000.
Specialists in dentistry
On fees for dentists, the CQC said: ‘The chargeable costs for this sector are fully recovered under the current fee levels, and those costs will remain the same during 2016-17.
‘After that time, the costs of regulating this sector are expected to fall.
‘On this basis, we will hold dental fees charges at current levels for 2016-17, and propose to then decrease them in 2017-18, maintaining them at that level until 2019-20.’
Criticism of the CQC has eased since it recruited specialists in dentistry, rather than using inspectors with responsibility across all branches of the NHS.
The performance of dental services in CQC inspections has been described as ‘very good compared to other parts of the health and care system’.