Warning/Fixed Penalty Notices

The CQC can issue a Warning Notice to a GP Practice.  This can be on the basis the GP Practice is deemed to have failed to, or is continuing to fail to, comply with a legal requirement.  GP Practices are given the opportunity to make representations about why a Warning Notice should be withdrawn or not be published. Warning Notices are a first step towards the CQC prosecuting a GP Provider in respect of certain regulations and can be an indication of enforcement action to come.

If representations are not made to a Warning Notice then the GP Practice will be deemed to have accepted the findings. The CQC has the power to publish information about Warning Notices and it does so routinely.  This can lead to press attention, reputational damage and prompt the interest of other parties such as NHS England or the GMC.

The CQC can issue Fixed Penalty Notices where a GP Practice has failed, amongst other reasons, to comply with relevant legislation. Examples include where a Practice does not have a registered manager or where it has failed to make relevant notifications as per the regulations. Each individual breach can attract a fine of up to £4000, which can escalate.

In respect of Fixed Penalty Notices the CQC has a duty to publish information once the fee has been paid. Again, press interest can lead to reputational damage.

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