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Early physio experiences of AQP concerning, director tells health union delegates

25 April 2012 - 3:42pm

Physiotherapy’s early experiences of the any qualified provider model were on the agenda at a major union health conference this week.

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Lesley Mercer: 'Evidence of rationing and threats to self-referral'

CSP Director of Employment Relations Lesley Mercer outlined the initial findings from research by the society at a special AQP focus group held at the Unison health conference Tuesday.

About 80 delegates attended the session, which was designed to raise awareness of what AQP could mean for both patient services and members.

Ms Mercer told the delegates that there was emerging evidence of care rationing, threats to self-referral, price competition and the creation of new pressures on hospitals, among other concerns.

Freedom of information

Ms Mercer based her presentation on information supplied by society members and the results of a number of freedom of information requests to commissioners. She explained that the society planned to give feedback to the Department of Health on AQP in physiotherapy.

Commenting after her presentation, Ms Mercer said: ‘From the questions at the meeting itself and the number of delegates who approached me afterwards, it is clear that the penny is starting to drop on AQP. 

‘One delegate posed the question: “Surely even competitive tendering would be better than this kind of fragmentation?''

Joint union working

‘The need for joint union working at national and local level was a recurring theme throughout the meeting, said Ms Mercer, who attended the conference in Brighton following an invitation from Unison.

‘The Unison chair made a point of saying at the beginning that CSP stewards and members in his area of the north east had been fantastic on 30 November, the day of action over pensions.'

For more information on what AQP could mean for you, check out the suite of CSP special briefings at the link below.

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