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Our concerns over Care Quality Commission (CQC) fee consultation for 2018/19

Date Published: 
Friday, January 19, 2018 - 09:45

Agincare has today made representations to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as part of a collective group of the largest home care providers in England; the majority of their work operating under local authority home care contracts. The group of 13 providers express their concerns about the latest set of fee scheme proposals that recommend fee increases of 50% or more, following previous consultations by CQC in the past financial year that already saw most of their fees increase by up to 60% on the prior year.

Such proposals place further pressure on the social care sector, including local authorities and end recipients of care, and must be seen in the context of wider challenges facing social care. Whilst it is appreciated that the HM Treasury has required that the CQC complete a cost recovery programme, they surely have to face the same dilemma as social care providers and the NHS do; how do you do more for less, more effectively and efficiently whilst still meeting legal duties and public expectations? Unfortunately, with actions such as these the CQC are in danger of contributing to more providers pulling out of the provision of publicly funded social care. Larger providers contribute significantly to the total capacity of the homecare sector and withdrawal would challenge many local authority or STP markets. With increasing workforce challenges across the health and social care sector, increasing NLW costs, Apprentice Levy tax and pension costs all providers would rather see money directed at this vital workforce, rather than in additional fees to the regulator.

Although the CQC purports to understand the pressures on the social care sector, indeed describing it as at 'tipping point' and 'in crisis' within its own State of Social Care annual reports, as an entity it seems to be operating as if protected from the challenge of resources in the social care sector, and simply passing its own pressures on to others. Any organisation, non-departmental government body or not, proposing increases to annual charges by such significant amounts and without detailed rationale or alternative methodology options, must be held to account.

The letter calls for further action from CQC and highlights the issues involved to other external bodies and MPs.

To download the letter please CLICK HERE

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