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AQP (Any Qualified Provider) Brief Overview. Ian S. Ross Clinical Procurement, NHS North Central London. Greater choice and control.

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aqp any qualified provider brief overview

AQP (Any Qualified Provider) Brief Overview

Ian S. Ross

Clinical Procurement, NHS North Central London

greater choice and control
Greater choice and control
  • The White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS sets out theGovernment’s vision of patients and the public being at the heart of an NHS where patients, service users, carers and families have far more influence and choice in the system, and the NHS is more responsive to their needs and wishes.
  • There is a presumption for greater choice and control over care in the vast majority of NHS-funded services. Greater choice and control will include a choice of any qualified healthcare provider – previously referred to as “any willing provider” wherever relevant.

key principles of aqp
Key Principles of AQP

There have been four governing principles laid down upon which AQP will operate: 

  • Providers are qualified and registered to provide their services. This will happen via an assurance process that tests a providers ‘fitness’ to offer NHS-funded services. 
  • Commissioners are responsible for establishing the local pathways and referral protocols and ensuring that ‘qualified’ providers agree to follow them. 
  • Clinicians referring patients to ‘qualified providers’ must offer patients the choice regarding which provider they are referred to. 
  • Competition between providers must be based on quality of service and not on price. To ensure this happens providers will be paid on a fixed price, determined by a national or local tariff.

eight services highlighted for aqp process
Eight services highlighted for AQP Process
  • MSK (Musculo-skeletal)
  • Adult Hearing
  • Continence
  • Children’s Wheelchair
  • Podiatry
  • Venous leg ulcer and wound healing
  • Diagnostic tests closer to home
  • Adult primary care psychological therapies

possible benefits of aqp
Possible Benefits of AQP
  • Community services should be a priority for implementing the approach;
  • Providers must meet service quality requirements when they are providing NHS care to patients;
  • Providers should meet consistent criteria, but the approach should be proportionate to enable smaller providers from the charitable and voluntary sector to provide;
  • Potential providers are assessed on their ability to deliver the service and do not compete on price as the tariff’s are set prior to any procurement being initiated
  • There will be a central management process - potential providers will access a central ‘portal’

possible disadvantages of aqp
Possible Disadvantages of AQP
  • There are no guarantees that providers will receive any referrals/business by becoming an AQP provider.
  • There could potentially be a ‘lack of focus’ from certain providers if they are not receiving regular business.
  • This could potentially impact on the quality of care that is being delivered.
  • Local/National tariff’s are issued, this eliminates any potential opportunity to negotiate cost.
  • Service could be offered at a more cost effective baseline, if tendered correctly, by offering a contract to a dedicated provider – economy of scales.