How to Satisfy CQC When Buying a Dental Practice
If you're in the market to buy a dental practice, it's important that you satisfy the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Whenever a practice has a change of ownership, it is necessary for both the buyer and seller to satisfy the CQC. The process for the buyer in particular can seem quite daunting - especially for those who are new to dental practice ownership. However, with the right preparation and guidance, it is possible to navigate all the steps successfully and ensure that you can meet all the requirements. Here are a few key points to keep in mind...
Preparation is Essential
One of the most important things to do is to do your research and prepare well in advance. Learn about the CQC standards for dental practices and familiarizse yourself with what is expected of you when buying a dental practice. This will help you understand the requirements and ensure that you can meet them as the new owner. ‘New providers’ are required to complete a long and detailed application form, providing information regarding employment history for the last 15 years with detailed explanations of any gaps.
Section 5 of the application form is crucially important and is all about the ‘How’. In this section, the new owner is required to explain how they will provide the regulated activities to satisfy the KLOE (Key Lines of Enquiry) requirements, and confirm that the service is safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led. An interview is also typically required to assess the new provider’s suitability to be registered for the provision of regulated activities. Proof will be sought here too, that the applicant is a fit and appropriate person to perform duties to a high standard.
Details and Timing
As soon as a sale is agreed, the CQC process should be started with the buyer completing an online application for a countersigned DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check. The process usually takes anywhere between 3-10 weeks, and the DBS is valid for 12 months. In the interim, the new provider application form should be completed via the CQC portal. Sometimes it’s necessary for the buyer to apply to go into partnership with the seller for the period of the handover.
In this instance, both the buyer and seller need to apply for partnership and the seller must cancel their existing provider registration at the same time. All applications should be checked thoroughly for errors including grammatical and spelling mistakes, as the CQC acceptance rules are very stringent and even minor errors can result in applications being rejected. To ensure CQC compliance, the registration must mirror exactly what is on the NHS contract if the practice holds one.
Need Some Help?
At MediEstates, we provide a free CQC Consultancy Service to help buyers navigate the CQC application process. We break down all the complexities and requirements and assist in much of the time-consuming work involved in the process. Clients are guided and prompted on the relevant actions throughout each stage.
Templates and examples are provided to help with each section of the application form, and final checks are completed before submission. We also assist our clients with interview preparation by providing a list of questions to consider and advice on to formulate responses.
The ability to satisfy the CQC is a vitally important part of buying a dental practice and gives assurance that on completion of the sale, the new practice owner can open on schedule and start their new venture with everything in place and ready to go.
If you’re planning to buy a dental practice, get in touch with our team today and let us guide you through each step of the process.