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Understanding CQC registration

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28 June 2012

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We are currently coming towards the end of our GP registration events across England. These events have been seen by many delegates as a great way to help answer questions from busy practices about the registration process. The more we can talk and explain the process the easier it will be for you to register and more importantly, the less stress it will cause you and your practice team!

We are currently coming towards the end of our GP registration events across England. These events have been seen by many delegates as a great way to help answer questions from busy practices about the registration process. The more we can talk and explain the process the easier it will be for you to register and more importantly, the less stress it will cause you and your practice team!

For those who couldn’t make any of the events, I thought I would share with you some of the most common questions that have come out of the events so far and the answers that we’ve given, and I hope this will help calm some nerves.

One of the most common questions that keeps coming up relates to who at a practice should register with the CQC as the registered manager?

It will actually be up to each GP provider to identify a person or persons to assume this role. So you need to decide if the best person for this is your practice manager or a practice partner, as they need to be in-charge of the day-to-day running of the healthcare service and ensure the essential standards are being met.

Day-to-day does mean someone who can answer and be responsible for what goes on at the practice; but of course that doesn’t mean that they can’t take a holiday or work part time. Equally they need to be someone who is empowered to make decisions and put things right at your practice if things go wrong.

The next most asked question at the events has been around what happens if people miss their registration submission window.

Unlike any other sector that we’ve registered before, we have changed the process this time round to make things easier and to allow GP practices to pick a timed window in which to submit their application to register with the Commission (these windows are 28 days long, which is set out to us in the legislation). There are four windows between September and December which are given out on a first come, first served basis.

I would advise everyone to make every effort to make sure you submit within your application window. If you do not, you will lose your legal protection should you fail to register by the deadline of 1 April 2013.  If you think that you’re going to miss your allotted window, then please contact the CQC and we will do our up most to ensure you are registered in time and keep your all important legal protection from prosecution (letters to all practices inviting you to start the registration process will be going out at the start of July, so please keep an eye out for them so you can start the processes).

There are two other questions that keep coming up that we can’t currently answer. These concern fees and what an inspection of a practice will actually look like. I know that fees are incredibly important, and would like to stress that there is no fee to register with the CQC, but there is a fee associated with ongoing compliance and regulation.

Government has been quite clear that with CQC they want us to charge a fee for the cost of regulation to all the sectors that we regulate, including GPs. The amount that will be charged and how it will be calculated will be going out for a consultation later this year, and I would urge everyone who’s interested to get involved and give your opinion, because your opinions matter and will help to influence the fees structure.

Secondly, I know there is a lot of concern about what an inspection will be like once you are registered. We know that a GP practice is a very different environment to that of a large hospital or a care home. To help us test what an inspection will entail we are running a pilot with 40 primary care providers later this month, to see what works and what we need to do differently during an inspection.

We have picked a selection of different types and sizes of practice so that we can get a full a picture as possible on what an inspection will look like and how it will be conducted. And our pilots are genuine pilots. They are designed to help us learn and improve – and until we know what we’ve learned, I’m simply not in a position to give you more detail – much as I would like to.

More answers to your registration question can be found here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/register/events

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