HOSC - Any Qualified Provider (AQP)
Sorry if this question has been asked before, but an interesting case has come up locally, but not in our locality, which has resulted in three services being highlighted to be opened up to new (and possibly non-NHS) providers under AQP. We were not involved in the selection of these services.
We understand from our briefs on AQP that each PCT cluster has been asked to identify three areas that would benefit from greater choice being open to patients. In April 2012 the PCT's are due to begin the implementation of offering such wider services.
We are treating the proposals like any other inquiry we may receive that may or may not end up being a substantial change in service (i.e. planning on asking the commissioner what services are being proposed, the numbers of patients being affected, q's around performance, 4 tests and engagement/involvement of local people), but wondered if anyone else had treated such cases differently? I know that the key principles of an AQP approach in the operational guidance include that 'commissioners set local pathways and referral protocols which providers must accept', but it makes no reference to how scrutiny might relate to these.
Any thoughts are appreciated, especially (but not exclusively!) Tim and Ed!