CQCThe Care Quality Commission (CQC) is increasing its fees for the dental sector by £0.6 million for 2019/20.

It claims this is to ‘better align the cost of regulation with the fees collected.’

It’s also increasing fees for community social care by £1.5 million and decreasing fees for residential social care by £0.8 million.

‘From 1 April 2019 we move to full recovery of our costs from providers,’ Ian Trenholm, chief executive at the CQC said.

‘Our fees represent around 0.16% of the overall indicative turnover of the health and social care market.

‘They enable us to fulfil our purpose of making sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care.

‘We’ll continue to make savings wherever possible.

‘To look carefully at our operating costs.

‘And make careful investments to offer a service which minimises the financial impact on providers.’

Dentistry low risk

The BDA has called on the regulator to explain its rationale for the 13% increase in fees.

The CQC has previously reported that dental practices represent the lowest risk to patient safety.

Dentistry accounts for 4.5% of CQC costs, but practices are expected to pay 20% of its overheads, the BDA claims.

‘The CQC knows the profession is delivering safe and high-quality care for our patients,’ BDA chair, Mick Armstrong, said.

‘We are perplexed why this year’s fees are linked to such a high backdoor tax.

‘We need to know why the cost for registration, monitoring and inspection processes is so expensive for dentists.

‘How these costs are divided up and what the regulator is doing to curb these rises.

‘The BDA raised these concerns with the CQC in our response to the consultation on fees.

‘But these questions have not been addressed.

‘We welcome the chance to discuss them further with the CQC in the near future.

‘Dentists are willing to pay our fair share, but not a penny more.’

Increase condemned

Increases mean single-location practices fees will jump by £69-£149 depending on the number of dental chairs.

The Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP(UK)) has also condemned the CQC’s increase.

It says it can’t understand how the regulator has arrived at its new cost estimates given dental providers are the lowest-risk sector it inspects.

‘The FGDP(UK) supports the maintenance and improvement of standards of care in dental practices,’ Ian Mills, faculty dean, said.

‘And recognises the contribution which the CQC has made in helping to deliver this.

‘In view of the positive reports the Commission has delivered on the dental sector, dentists will find a further increase in fees particularly bewildering and unwelcome

‘The increase is more surprising given the recent move from comprehensive inspections to a risk-based model.

‘The CQC has already claimed it has realised significant cost efficiencies in its inspections.

 

‘It’s extremely disappointing that the dental sector should face a marked increase in the cost of regulation.’


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