MediEstates - ASK ANNE: CQC - as easy as 1, 2, 3?
ASK ANNE: CQC - as easy as 1, 2, 3?

CQC – as easy as 123? It can be if you’re prepared and get expert advice!

One of the key aspects of buying a practice is dealing with and satisfying the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England, whose job it is to make sure health and social care services and dental providers give people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care and ensure that people get the standard of services they are entitled to expect.

When a practice changes hands, both buyer and seller have to satisfy the CQC in a number of ways, and the complexity of the application process and the detail required can easily trip applicants up. Here’s a checklist of the most important things you need to do with regard to CQC.

1. Apply for a countersigned DBS check immediately
As soon as a sale is agreed, it’s important to start the CQC process by applying for a countersigned DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check. Both the buyer and the seller must apply for their own DBS check and it must be countersigned by the CQC in order to be valid; don’t apply for a DBS check with your local authority, as it will not be accepted by the CQC later in the process. The application can be filled in online and the process can take between 3 and 10 weeks. Your DBS check is then valid for 12 months.

2. Start gathering all your information for the CQC new provider application
Whilst you’re waiting for your DBS check to be approved, it’s important to start gathering all the information that will be required for your new provider application. The new provider application form is long and detailed and requires a lot of information from the buyer, including the last 15 years of job history, explanations of any gaps in employment and most importantly, section 5 which is entitled “How”. This section requires details of how you are going to provide the regulated activities to prove that you can satisfy the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE) which confirm whether your service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Answering this properly will take time.

3. Make sure you are applying for the right registration
It’s very easy to get your CQC application wrong. Firstly, the CQC portal is set up in such a way that it’s easy to select the wrong application form without realising. Depending on your circumstances and the agreement you have with the vendor, you may be applying to go into partnership, or as a company or sole trader. Often, a new buyer will need to apply to go into partnership with the vendor for a period of time and in that case, both sides must apply for a partnership, the vendor simultaneously cancelling their existing provider registration.

4. Check your form meticulously – or even better, get an expert to check it for you
The CQC is very strict on what is acceptable and can reject a whole painstakingly-filled-out application for the most minor of errors, including grammatical mistakes. Part of the CQC Consultancy Service which MediEstates provides, is to guide buyers through the whole process – selecting the correct application form, completing the required detail and doing a final check. The onus is on the applicant to check and finally submit the form, but we take most of the headaches out of the process.

5. Prepare yourself for the CQC interview
Once the application has been submitted, you will be invited for interview, at which your suitability to be registered for the provision of regulated activities is assessed. It’s important to be prepared for all the questions that will be asked in order to prove you are the fit and proper person to perform duties to a high standard.

6. Make sure CQC application mirrors your NHS contract
If the practice holds an NHS contract, it is important for the CQC that your registration with them mirrors what is on the contract. So, if a buyer and seller go into partnership, their two names must be on the NHS contract, if the seller then subsequently exits later, the NHS contract must be altered too.

MediEstates CQC Consultancy Service is there to hold the hand of buyers and sellers throughout the CQC application process. We provide this service as a complimentary, but crucial addition to our service as a broker for our practices and it involves explaining the requirements of the CQC and taking on much of the time-consuming work that is involved. We guide customers through the process and prompt them regarding what action is required at each stage, we provide templates and examples to follow for different sections of the application form and perform a final check before submission. We also help our clients prepare for the interview by providing a list of questions that should be considered and hints as to how responses might be formulated.

And finally, as the only party who talks to both buyer and seller, we are in a unique position to help the seller fulfil their part of the CQC process, by informing them of what they need to do and when, and getting them prepared for the information the CQC will require.

There’s a lot involved in satisfying the CQC when purchasing a practice but being prepared and getting expert help will definitely smooth the way.
Posted by: Anne Barker on

General Buyer Terms 

This agreement is in relation to MediEstates Limited whose registered office is at 1st Floor, Pacific House, Stanier Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6BF acting for and on behalf of our clients ("the Vendors"); and yourself (Buyer's Name) in relation for an introduction to a prospective sale of a business as a going concern. By registering through this agreement I agree to all terms set out below:

  1. Definitions
    In this Agreement the following terms and phrases shall have the following meaning unless the context otherwise requires:

    Dental Practice business providing dental care. This business is under the MediEstates Ltd sale terms.
    Confidential Information
    Means the actual Vendors identity and all confidential information in respect of the Business, including, but not limited to, any ideas, business methods, prices, accounts, finance, marketing, research, development, manpower plans, processes, market opportunities, intentions, design rights, product information, customer lists or details, employees’ details, trade secrets, computer systems and software, and other matters connected with the products or services manufactured, marketed, provided or obtained by the Vendor, and information concerning the Vendor’s relationships with actual or potential clients or customers and the needs and requirements of such clients’ or customers’ operations.
  2. Obligation of Confidentiality
    The Prospective Purchaser agrees to treat as confidential, information supplied by or on behalf of the Vendor in connection with the sale of the Business.
  3. Exclusions
    The obligation of confidentiality set out in clause 2 does not apply to:
    1. any information received from a third party who was legally free at the time of disclosure to disclose it;
    2. any information which was already lawfully in the Prospective Purchaser’s possession prior to receiving it from MediEstates Ltd on behalf of the Vendor; and
    3. any information which is in its entirety already in the public domain.
  4. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    1. The Prospective Purchaser shall take such a reasonable security measures to protect the Confidential Information and trade secrets.
    2. The Prospective Purchaser shall not, without the prior written consent of the Vendor, permit any of the Confidential Information:
      1. to be disclosed, other than in confidence to its legal or professional advisors;
      2. to be copied or reproduced;
      3. to be commercially exploited in any way;
      4. to be used for any purpose other than in connection with the prospective purchase of the Business;
      5. MediEstates is registered under the Data Protection Act 2018. Upon Signing this agreement you agree to follow the legal obligations of this act to protect the details of the information supplied to you, with it no to be passed outside of the control of you the prospective purchaser.
    3. The Prospective Purchaser agrees to keep a record of Confidential Information received.
    4. The Prospective Purchaser will return to MediEstates or the Vendor all documents containing Confidential Information and all copies of those documents on demand at any time which are in its possession or under its control, and for this purpose the term “documents” includes computer discs and all other materials capable of storing data and information. The Prospective Purchaser agrees that such documents remain the property of the MediEstates on behalf of the Vendor.
    5. The Prospective Purchaser must not jeopardise or re-direct the sale under any circumstances.
    6. The Prospective Purchaser must not contact the Local Area Team or CCG regarding any practice sale, by any means of media unless written permission is granted from the Vendor.
    7. To carry out own due diligence on practice purchases and accepts that any information MediEstates has supplied is information provided by the vendor and is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness.
  5. This Agreement
    The existence of this Agreement and its terms are confidential and neither MediEstates nor the Purchaser may disclose anything about this Agreement or its subject matter or implementation to any person other than in confidence to their legal or professional advisers.
  6. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    When buying Dental practices, finance is normally needed. Our organisation operated over more than one of the MediHoldings brand, by completing this from you agree that the information can be shared to our other organisations to avoid the need to register independently and provide the best possible service.

    MediEstates will refer you to the specialist dental lending team and MediFinancial who will contact the necessary banks, whom have preferential healthcare lending rates in some cases, to ascertain which funding is available to you.
    By signing this agreement you do not have to use any of the banks MediFinancial contact, it is just another service which we provide.
  7. Deposit for Dental Practice
    If you are interested in putting forward a formal offer in for a practice, once the offer is accepted there will be a deposit required to secure the practice sale which is dependant of the practice size. This deposit is held in a client account and will be returned to the buyer on completion of the practice sale. You the buyer, will be required to sign a deposit schedule which will cover the buyer and the seller in the event that the practice sale does not proceed.
  8. Changes to this Agreement
    Any changes made to this agreement must be authorised and signed by one of MediEstates Ltd Directors.
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