CQC guidance on provider financial viability
12 February 2018
The BDA has received clarification from the CQC following a recent announcement that they would be asking "all providers to submit a statement of financial viability in the form of a statement letter from a financial specialist". There is an ability for them to do this in law, however following contact from us they confirmed there had been an error in the monthly bulletin and that many providers will, in fact, be exempt from the requirement.
They confirmed that evidence of an NHS contract provides sufficient assurance, and that they will not require the following providers to submit a statement letter:
- NHS GP practices
- NHS dentists
- NHS 111, out of hours and urgent care services
- Non NHS organisations with NHS contracts
They committed to issuing a full clarification to all providers.
For practices carrying out a mix of NHS and private work the CQC have confirmed that if the provider has an NHS contract a breakdown of the proportion will not be required. They said:
"If a provider has a contract to provide NHS services, we will take that as assurance of financial viability for the purposes of our registration assessment. We will not require details of any breakdown of the proportion of public/ private work.
"New dental providers that do not have an NHS contract will be required to demonstrate their viability by the means set out in the guidance. They are not exempt from this requirement.
"The new approach will apply to new providers submitting a new registration application.
"It may also apply to some existing providers seeking to make changes to their registration (for instance for increases in scale or when we have intelligence that suggests a provider does not have the financial standing to provide the services set out in their Statement of Purpose)."
Our reading of this is that established dental providers are not affected by the change; it should never apply to a provider with an NHS contact and only to:
- new 100% private providers; and
- (potentially) to a 100% private provider who makes changes to their registration eg adding a partner or location.
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