NHS trusts face greater pressure with fee increases
10 March 2017
Following a public consultation last year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has set out its fee levels for 2017/18 as it moves towards a full cost recovery funding approach to meet the requirements of the Treasury. The move goes against the majority of responses received throughout the consultation period.
In its response to the CQC’s publication of its 2017/18 fees scheme for providers, the head of policy at NHS Providers, Amber Davenport said:
“We are concerned that while trusts remain under severe financial and demand pressures this increase in fees will divert scarce resources away from frontline care.
“When the CQC started its consultation, we warned that the proposals meant that some trusts could see their fees hiked by 50 per cent - for some this represents an increase of £100,000. Despite clear concerns raised by the sector throughout the consultation period, this is the scenario we are now seeing. And this comes on the back of as much as a 75 per cent hike in fees for some trusts in 2016/17.
We are concerned that while trusts remain under severe financial and demand pressures this increase in fees will divert scarce resources away from frontline care.
“The cost rises will also have a significant impact on social care providers. These stresses will have a knock-on effect on NHS services already struggling to absorb the fee rises from the previous two years. The government and national bodies must consider how best to support trusts to pay for these increases.”
The changes in fee level have been announced ahead of the introduction of the CQC’s new inspection regime. Commenting on the new regime, Amber added:
“The CQC must continue to work hard to ensure that the new regulatory model reduces the burden for trusts and provides value for money, while ensuring that patient safety remains the priority.”