CQC revised fees – great news for micro providers
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently announced its revised fee structure for 2018/2019 for social care providers. Every social care provider must pay a single annual fee to the CQC, which covers their registration and compliance requirements.
In 2015, CQC proposals put out for consultation wanted to introduce a hike in fees for all service providers, with price changes staggered each year, peaking at £3,287 by 2019/2020. In 2015, the annual fee was £796, so the increase would have been quite significant. This proposal was of great concern regarding micro providers, who typically only have two or three members of staff. The additional cost of CQC fees could have put some smaller businesses into financial difficulty, or forced them to pass on the costs to service users.
However, these proposals have been overturned with the release of the CQC’s new fee structure. The most significant difference is that the banding structure of the fees until now is being replaced. Instead, fees will be calculated based on the number of service users being cared for by the care provider. This means that smaller micro providers won’t be expected to pay the same annual fee as much larger organisations. The CQC has also set a minimum and maximum fee.
In a letter to registered providers, the CQC explained the changes further:
“The first of these [changes] was to charge fees in proportion to a provider’s size, removing our previous banding structure. We will use the following as measures of size:
- For community social care providers, we will charge fees in proportion to the number of service users at a location
- For NHS GPs, we will charge fees in proportion to the size of a provider in the sector using patient list size per location
- For NHS trusts we will charge fees in proportion to the size of a provider in the sector continuing to use annual turnover”
For micro providers, this could mean a significant saving. For example, a community social care provider operating from one location with 6 service users would see a decrease in fees from £2,192 to £514.
The CQC fees calculator explains how the fee is worked out. For ‘Care and community social care services’ providing ‘Community social care’ – which cover many micro providers – the fee is calculated as a basic floor price of £239, plus a fee based on the number of service users x 45.770. This is calculated per service location, though most micro providers will only operate in one location.
While some larger service providers and NHS Trusts may see an increase in their fees, micro providers will likely benefit from the new fee structure, which is good news. Micro providers are a key part of the social care system and often plug gaps missed by larger providers, helping to give care and support to communities that need it.
Find out more about CQC registration and fees on its website: www.cqc.org.uk/