The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has an important role to play in ensuring the quality of healthcare services available to the public in the UK. While its job is crucial for patient safety, many professionals are often less than enthusiastic when it comes to working with the CQC ad making changes to their registration.
This is because making any alterations or applying for new registrations can be a complex and time-consuming task. It requires the dentist to have at least a basic understanding of how the CQC operates. it also usually requires the completion of several long and highly detailed forms.
This is just as true with regards to applying for a new registration or making changes to an existing registration. Or rather, it was. The process itself has changed in recent months when it comes to adding or removing partners – and, thankfully for many, it has changed for the better.
A welcome change
In the past, if a dental practice was registered as a partnership, there were two possible ways of adding on new partners. For practices who registered with the CQC before 2013, they were not able to make any amendments to their existing registration. Instead, they had to apply for an entirely new registration. This would be a 10-week process, requiring new DBS checks for all partners involved. Regarding practices that registered with the CQC after 2013, they could add or remove a partner to their existing set-up. Only the person being added needed a new DBS certificate and everything else stayed the same. The benefits of the latter group of practices was a much faster process and a significantly lower chance that interviews would be requested for an easier procedure. However, with the vast majority of dental practices having been established before 2013, the need for a brand new CQC registration was an issue when changes were made to the partnership registration.
Today, irrelevant of when a practice was initially registered with the CQC, it is possible to add or remove a partner without submitting an entirely new application. It is also possible to specify a date, which can be useful. As long as sufficient time is allowed for the information to be processed (around 7 or 8 weeks), the CQC will usually turn applications around quite quickly. It is a lot less work, less hassle and much quicker.
Despite the process for adding or removing partners having been made simpler, it can still be tricky to manage. It’s important to know what your roles and responsibilities are with regards to the information being provided. In other words, you need to know what you are signing up for! This involves knowing what to do, what paperwork to prepare in case it’s requested later and at what point the process is satisfactorily completed.
As with everything else relating to the CQC, there are still plenty of forms to complete when adding or removing a partner. These are nearly all notoriously difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with the language and format. It is also essential to fill in forms meticulously as the CQC is very strict about what it will and will not accept on application forms. Any errors – whether a typo, a missing tick, addresses written slightly differently in two places – will result in rejection of the entire form and the process will need to be started again.
In addition, when going into a new partnership, you may need to show paperwork with the new partners’ name on it. This might be a lease agreement or quality policy procedures within the practice, for instance. Knowing what might be needed in advance will aid preparation for as smooth a process as possible.
The beauty of expert support
The beauty of working with an external team who deals with the CQC on a daily basis is that you needn’t worry about the finer details quite so much. Usually, you simply fill in one form to give the experts all the information they need about your business and the changes you wish to make, and then they will take care of the rest for you. They will complete the relevant CQC application forms, monitor progress and chase up when necessary. They can also find out who the inspector will be (for new applications), advise on the estimated timeframe, and work directly with the solicitors to ensure the process is concluded in time for a sale completion, for example.
At Dental Elite, our dedicated CQC team will even work with you post completion to ensure that no previously registered partnerships linger on and prevent you from your new endeavour. We won’t leave you alone just because the sale is officially completed and we can help with questions from inspectors or on-going queries on partnership changes. We also offer our comprehensive CQC service to anyone, regardless of whether you’re selling/buying a practice through Dental Elite or not.
The secret to a smoother process
The new way of adding or removing a partner on a practice’s CQC registration has definitely made it quicker and easier than it once was. It might not be completely hassle-free, but dentists can make the most of a smoother process when they understand the new rules and ensure they complete all the relevant forms correctly first time. The secret to maximum efficiency is often found in seeking the right support from experts who can guide you through any CQC procedure with ease.