The National Care Association says its deeply disappointed, although not surprised, by the Care Quality Commission’s announcement of rises in fees that providers in England will pay to cover the costs of their regulation.
The NCA says the regulator has again used its powers to inflict maximum discomfort to social care providers by ignoring the responses they received about the fees paid to them. Despite responses expressing a strong preference for a four year strategy, CQC has decided to opt for the two year option.
The Association says the fact that they have decided to wait until the 11th hour to let providers know, demonstrates their total lack of understanding or judgement when it comes to social care provision.
Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association said: “Our members have been eagerly awaiting this announcement hoping that their comments in the consultation would have been heeded, but once again we remain disappointed that the CQC has pursued its own agenda. Rewarding the Regulator with such substantial increases flies in the face of outcome based results.
“This is an organisation which has not met its targets and has continued to fail providers who are awaiting re-inspection following one of their visits: a delay which has serious consequences for providers, despite the fact they will have rectified any failings they continue to be penalised by commissioners because of an out of date report.”
David Behan, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: “We understand that the scheme that has been put forward is not the one the majority of those who took part in our consultation would have preferred.
“In order to achieve our requirement to the Government and commitment to the taxpayer, we need to work towards reaching full cost recovery while reducing our overall budget by at least £32 million.
“In May, CQC will publish its strategy for 2016-21, which will set out how we will be an efficient and effective regulator with fewer resources. It is important that while we make efficiency savings, we can continue to carry out our role effectively. Over the next five years we want to develop our approach so that providers of services get more value from the work that we do, by sharing data about the quality of services and highlighting good practice.
“The fee paid by providers is the charge for entering and remaining in a regulated sector. The public deserves nothing less than safe, high-quality and compassionate health and adult social care, and we must continue to act in their best interests.”
Examples of the impact of fee changes on some of the sectors include a £451 increase for a care home with 26-30 residents.