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CQC announces changes in regulatory fees for providers

30 March 2016
  • Media

Following a public consultation last year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has outlined the fees that providers of health and adult social care in England will pay from April 2016 to cover the costs of their regulation.

CQC’s regulatory functions are funded both by fees paid by providers and by grant-in-aid from the Department of Health. Government policy requires CQC to increase the fees it has to charge registered providers, so that it can move towards fully recovering the chargeable costs of regulating health and adult social care in England.

In its consultation, CQC outlined proposals to achieve full chargeable cost recovery for all of the sectors it regulates over a period of either two or four years.

The responses CQC received expressed a strong preference for the four-year option. However, following the Government’s Spending Review, the level of grant-in-aid available to CQC for 2016/17 is such that in order to fulfil its statutory functions, CQC has had to recommend the two-year option to the Secretary of State, except for dental and home care providers. The Secretary of State has consented to these recommendations.

The amounts that CQC will charge to providers differ depending on the cost of regulation in each sector and how close they are currently to full cost recovery. Examples of the impact of fee changes on some of the sectors include:

  • £451 increase for a care home with 26-30 residents
  • £573 increase for a single-location community social care provider (such as a home care agency)
  • £58,656 increase for an NHS trust with an income of £125 million to £225 million
  • £1,849 increase for a single-location GP practice with 5,001-10,000 patients

The two sectors furthest from full chargeable cost recovery are NHS GPs and the community social care sector (such as home care agencies).

  • Home care agencies will be subject to fee changes on the basis of the four-year trajectory towards full cost recovery.
  • The Government has recently announced additional funding for GP practices to cover the expense of the required increases to fees in 2016/17.

General dental practices will continue to pay the same fees as they have done in 2015/16 for 2016/17 because the full chargeable cost of their regulation has already been recovered.

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."

CQC will publish a calculator on its website to help providers work out their exact fees for 2016/17, alongside detailed fees guidance.


For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out-of-hours on 0778 987 6508. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

  1. All services registered with the CQC are required under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to pay fees to cover the cost of registration and inspection. The fees paid by providers, together with grant-in-aid from the government are central to making sure that CQC can carry out the job it is committed to delivering – registering and inspecting health and adult social care providers to ensure they provide care that is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led, monitoring them to make sure they continue to do so, and taking action if they do not. For further information about CQC’s fees strategy for 2016/17 please visit our Fees page.
  2. The CQC is expected by HM Treasury to work towards fully covering the cost of its regulation of providers though the fees that it charges them, thus reducing its grant-in-aid from the government. For further information, please visit
  3. Under section 85 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 the CQC may with the consent of the Secretary of State from time to time make and publish provision requiring fees to be paid.
  4. Individual fees are, for the majority, no more than 1% of a provider’s turnover and in instances where a provider pays tax, then fees are tax allowable, so the differential rate of taxation, whether for a sole trader, partnership or company, will reduce that proportion further.
  5. The CQC will be publishing its response to the consultation and other supporting documents on Wednesday 6 April.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.