This article relates to the CQC key question: Is your practice well-led?
We are often asked about the regulations that apply to general practice.
The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (HSCA) sets out the CQC’s statutory powers and duties, as well as the legal framework for providers to follow.
Sections of HSCA that are always checked on an inspection:
- registered person(s)
- regulated activities
- additional conditions of registration
Section of the HSCA 2008
General legal advice (each case will need specific legal advice)
Section 10 Requirement to register as a service provider
All providers who carry on regulated activities must be registered with CQC.
If a provider is not registered we can legally enter but we can only inspect registered providers. We refer un-registered providers to our registration team.
Some providers may have been registered with us but due to a change in legal entity they are no longer registered (for example, a provider was registered as a partnership but is now operating as a sole provider).
Section 13 Conditions requiring a registered manager
All providers that are not an individual (who is fit to manage and in day to day control) legally must have a condition of registration that states they must have a registered manager.
Ensure that anyone calling themselves a registered manager is the person named on the certificate. If there isn’t a registered manager and they have a condition that states they must have one, this will be noted as part of the inspection. Further investigations will be needed as it could be a Section 33 offence.
Section 33 Failure to comply with conditions
All conditions of registration (registered managers, locations, partnership members, and additional conditions) are on the registration certificate.
We ensure that all conditions of registration are being adhered to, with particular attention on partnership conditions and to check they are up to date. If they are not, this will be noted as part of the inspection. It could be a Section 33 offence.
Section 34 Offences relating to suspension or cancellation of registration
It is an offence for registered persons to carry-on or manage a regulated activity once they have been cancelled or during a period of suspension.
If the provider/manager is suspended or cancelled and we have reason to believe that they are still carrying on/managing the regulated activity this could be a section 34 offence.
Section 60 - Inspections
Gives CQC its legal framework for what it can inspect.
Section 61 – Inspections carried for registration purposes
Gives CQC its legal framework on when, by whom and how an inspection can be carried out. It also sets down how a report should be prepared who it should be sent to and our power to publish the report.
Section 62 – Entry and inspection
Gives CQC it power to enter and inspect.
Section 63 - Entry and inspection supplementary
Gives CQC additional powers to enter and inspect.
Section 64 – Power to require documents and information etc
Gives CQC the power to request documents and information outside of the inspection process. Providers that fail to comply without reasonable excuse can be prosecuted.
Section 65 – Power to require explanation
Gives CQC the power to require an explanation on any records, documents, other items and information copied or provided under Sections 62 to 64. Persons without reasonable excuse who fail to comply with the requirement can be prosecuted.
Key notifications for GP practices – changes to registration details
See notifications for GP providers on the CQC website for detailed information and the relevant notification forms
Registered providers must give notice in writing to CQC of the following changes to registration details as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so.
Where the registered provider is a partnership:
- Any changes to the membership of the partnership.
- Partnerships have a routine CQC condition of registration imposed relating to membership of the partnership. The partnership can continue as the same registered legal entity when it adds or removes partners. To do this, whenever there is a change in the membership of the partnership, as well as making a notification, the partnership must apply to vary the condition of registration in relation to the membership of the partnership.
- There are separate application forms and processes for applying to:
- add proposed new partners, and
- remove existing partners.
Body other than a partnership
Where the registered provider is a body other than a partnership:
- changes to the name or address of the body
- changes to directors, secretary or similar officers of the body
- change to the nominated individual.
Where the registered person is an individual, they change their name.
Bankruptcy and liquidation
Where the registered provider is an individual, a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed;
Where the registered provider is a company or a partnership, a receiver, manager liquidator or provisional liquidator is appointed;
Carrying on and managing the regulated activity
A registered person stops carrying on or managing the regulated activity
A person other than the registered person carries on or manages the regulated activity.
Absences and returns from absences
This requirement only applies to registered providers that are individuals (not partners, partnerships or organisations) and registered managers:
- Notifications about planned absences of 28 days or more must be submitted to CQC 28 days before they begin. You can agree shorter timescales with us where appropriate, but you must contact us to discuss this when needed.
- You must notify us of returns to work from an absence within seven days.
Professor Nigel Sparrow is senior national GP advisor and responsible officer at the CQC
More CQC resources
- View the full CQC Essentials series on Medeconomics
- CQC's recommended reading to help practices meet regulations and prepare for an inspection