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By Debbie le Quesne

CQC fees set to rise and we need to respond . . . please

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC), has published a consultative document outlining the fees that it proposes to charge registered care providers in 2014/15.

Under the proposal, fees for all health and social care providers, will increase by 2.5 per cent. Isn’t that just what we all wanted to hear!

The fees, which are paid by health and social care providers, ensure that CQC can carry out the job of registering and inspecting health and adult social care providers to make sure they provide safe and effective care, monitoring them to make sure they continue to do so, and taking action if they fall below that bar.

It’s an essential service and every care worker in the land understands there has to be a regulatory body.

In a number of publications, David Prior, chair of the CQC is reported as saying: “We do not underestimate the impact on providers of paying fees, especially in the current economic climate, and we will continue to look carefully at our costs relating to regulation.

“As an organisation, we have a responsibility to cover our costs by charging fees, but we are also accountable for demonstrating that we are fair, efficient, effective and proportionate.”

The changes, which I am still trying to get my head around, involve altering the bandings for residential care home providers to reduce what is known as the ‘cliff edge’ effect, that occurs when providers are pushed into a higher fee band through a small increase in the size of their service.

With the breaking of this news – and often buried deep within the columns of words – is the fact they CQC wants our input. They are asking us to be part of a consultation and a lengthy questionnaire is posted online at http://www.cqc.org.uk/public/sharing-your-experience/consultations/fees-consultation-2014/15

The consultation closes on Monday 25 November 2013.

Please . . . we have to make the time to be involved in this. We are the only real barometer of opinion the CQC will measure and to do that we must respond to their invitation.

Sadly, there’s never enough time and never the right time, but I would strongly urge a response.

The CQC web links tells us in the preamble that as “an organisation, we have a responsibility to cover our costs by charging fees, but we are also accountable for demonstrating that we are fair, efficient and proportionate.”

Let’s make sure that the regulators are just that  . . . fair and proportionate. It’s one of those ‘must do’ jobs I’m afraid.

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