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CSP offers guidance for new commissioning agenda

15 December 2011 - 11:56am

'Don't worry - but do act!' That's the message to members facing the introduction of any qualified provider (AQP) commissioning in 2012.

File 103484From April, all English trusts are due to open community and mental health services to competition so that any qualified provider can bid to provide services.

Already, primary care trust clusters have identified which clinical areas they have chosen to go out to AQP. Several services are included, such as musculoskeletal, continence, wheelchair services, lymphoedemea, long-term care self management, intermediate care and continuing healthcare.

The maps, shown right, give examples of trusts where it is has been announced that those services will go to AQP.

See the Supply 2 Health website for full map details of all services.

Patient Choice

File 103485The new arrangement could mean that several physiotherapy providers are approved within a geographical area, but they will have no guaranteed level of referrals. It will be entirely down to the patients who will decide which practitioner they want to see.

Single-handed practitioners in particular will need to ensure that they are flexible to the needs of their population. This could include being aware that some patients might only want to be seen by a physio of the same sex as themselves.

The new arrangement differs from competitive tendering, where a single provider could be awarded the contract and be guaranteed a certain level of patient referrals, said Steve Tolan, CSP professional advisor.

'Impact and opportunities'

File 103483'People need to be aware which services in their area have been allocated for AQP and what the impact - and opportunities - will be.'

It might be possible for some NHS services to offer to provide treatment to neighbouring PCTs, for example.

'It's vital that physios, whether in the NHS or independent sector, develop relationships with GPs as they are the source of referrals,' said Mr Tolan. 'Members also need to find out who the key decision makers are for services locally.'

The latest CSP guide to AQP is due to be published in the new year. Meanwhile, you can read the existing CSP report: Any Qualified Provider (2).

Further information

Read the implementation guidance issued so far on the Supply 2 Health website.

See also: 'Joint Strategic needs assessment and joint health and wellbeing strategies explained' available on the Department of Health website.

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