Following concerns and some confusion at local level regarding Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration, the following clarification has been provided by CQC:
‘It is important to remember that only legal entities can register with CQC. If a provider is a collaborative, such as a PCN, and is not a legal entity then it cannot carry out regulated activities and therefore it cannot be registered with CQC. In a situation where a PCN is not a legal entity, and the constituent members are already registered with CQC for the delivery of regulated activities they provide as part of the network (including extended access) they will not need to register separately from the constituent practices, however it is advised that providers amend their statement of purpose to accurately reflect the additional roles they will assume as a participant member of a PCN.
In a situation where a new or currently unregistered provider organisation is formed as a legal entity AND the organisation will have ongoing direction and control of the delivery of regulated activities it would be required to register with CQC. If a PCN becomes a legal entity but does not directly control and deliver regulated activities (for example by supplying staff to assist constituent practices to deliver their regulated activities) there is no need to register with CQC. Please note that new applications for registration can take up to 10 weeks to process. The exact timeframe will depend upon the complexity of the application and the availability of key information requested by the registration inspector.’
In addition to this statement, GPC England officers and staff will be working with CQC to develop and publish responses to a range of FAQs addressing PCNs and registration.