The Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP(UK)) has rejected the Care Quality Commission’s 13% fee increase for dentists, which will apply from 1 April 2019.
The new fees will increase costs for single-location and domiciliary dental care providers by £69-£149, depending on the number of dental chairs, with fees for multiple-location providers rising by the same proportions.
While the Faculty supports the move to end the current cross-subsidy by dentists of other professions, it says it cannot understand how the regulator has arrived at its new cost estimates for inspecting dental surgeries given that dental providers have proved the lowest-risk sector it inspects.
Responding to the announcement, Ian Mills, the Faculty’s Dean, said:
“The Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) supports the maintenance and improvement of standards of care in dental practices, and recognises the contribution which the Care Quality Commission has made in helping to deliver this. In view of the highly positive reports the Commission has delivered on the dental sector in recent years, dentists will find a further increase in fees this year particularly bewildering and unwelcome.
“The cost increase is all the more surprising given the recent move from a comprehensive inspection model to a risk-based model. One would naively assume that such a shift would deliver a more cost effective means of delivering regulation, which should be reflected in the fees recouped from practices. The CQC has already claimed that it has realised significant cost efficiencies in its inspections, and as such it is extremely disappointing that the highly performing dental sector should in fact be faced with a marked increase in the cost of regulation.”
Earlier this year, the FGDP rejected the fees at the proposal stage in response to a public consultation by the CQC. Its response is available at https://www.fgdp.org.uk/policy-reports-and-consultations.
The full breakdown of CQC fees for 2019/20 is available at https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20190326%20Fees_scheme_201920%20fees_FINAL.pdf.