Friday 19 October 2018
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RNHA Say CQC has imposed Disproportionately High Fees

The registration and inspection fees the Care Quality Commission (CQC) charges nursing homes are way over the odds compared with the fees it charges large NHS hospitals, it has been claimed.

The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA), which represents around 1,000 nursing homes across the country, has accused the care regulator of totally disproportionate and unfair behaviour in its scales of fees. There is one law for the relatively small nursing home provider, it says, and a completely different law for a typical NHS acute hospital.

The RNHA had been hoping to see a major adjustment of the CQC’s fee structure next April, but a consultation document issued by the care regulator suggests that it will be ‘business as usual’, which the RNHA describes as a ‘bitter blow for hardpressed nursing homes struggling with rising costs and falling income’.

Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: “Let’s take a 61-bed nursing home with a total annual turnover of around £2 million. Put that alongside an NHS hospital with a 60 times greater annual turnover of about £120 million. The hospital will pay the CQC only five times as much in registration and inspection fees as the nursing home - £55,000 compared with just over £11,000. This seems to us to be a grossly disproportionate burden on the nursing home.”

He added: “Last year we protested vigorously at fee increases on nursing homes of up to 26% over the previous year. Our protests made no impact whatever. The draconian fee increases were imposed by the CQC. This year we had hoped for some respite. Sadly, there is none. It is extremely disappointing. We can only hope that the CQC will be more amenable in the consultation on fees that it has launched this week. However, on its past performance we are not holding our breath.”