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CQC Essentials: Registration and partnerships

What practices need to do with regard to their CQC registration if there is a change to their partnership.

This article relates to the CQC key question: Is your practice well-led? 

The area of registration and partnerships is one we often get queries about, and one we know can be complex to navigate for providers and particularly for GP practices.

We are currently working on improving our registration approach to make it more effective and, where appropriate, more streamlined.

We also want make better use of our resources and ensure that the people who use services are better protected. We'll keep you updated on progress with those improvements, but in the meantime this mythbuster outlines some of the key facts around partnerships you should be aware of.

The Health and Social Care Act regulations require CQC to be assured about the fitness of partners before we can grant registration and subsequently where there are changes to the partnership. In order to do this, applications to CQC are required when a new partner joins or when a whole partnership changes.

Recognising that changes in partnership can take place frequently for some providers (especially those who provide GP services), we took detailed legal advice on this in 2012/13 and have subsequently streamlined our approach to make it easier for partnerships to vary their registration.

Full details can be found on the CQC website.

The key points to note are:

  • Partnerships registered after February 2013 are registered with a condition to their registration that names the partners in the partnership. This changes the way they add or remove partners from their registration.
  • Providers are able to apply to vary the partnership condition if they want to remove or add a partner, using an online or downloadable application form.
  • Prior to this being introduced, the partnership would have had to cancel their registration and the new partnership apply for new registration which would have been a more complex and lengthy process for everyone.

It is important that if your partner/s do change that you follow the process above. If you don't, you may be in breach of your conditions of registration. Breaches of conditions are an offence, which may trigger enforcement action and be noted in your inspection report.

  • Professor Nigel Sparrow is senior national GP advisor and responsible officer at the CQC

More CQC resources

Picture: iStock

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