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Any Qualified Provider AQP/New NHS Structure (England)

AQP Background

Any Qualified Provider is a means of commissioning certain NHS services in England. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will determine the services to be commissioned as AQP; the intention is to increase patient choice. All providers must meet the qualification criteria set for a particular service and once qualified their service will appear on choose and book for patients to select.

2012-2013 was identified as a transitional year to test implementation of AQP, staring with a limited set of community and mental health services (Adult Hearing, Diagnostic services closer to home, Venous Leg Ulcers, Podiatry, Primary Care Psychological Therapies for Adults, Community Continence, Wheelchair Services, Musculoskeletal Services).

CCGs were required to select three of these eight services to roll out as AQP from April 2012. To assist implementation, the DH produced guidance implementation packs for each of these eight services to include; service specification, currency and pricing, quality requirements and any specific recommendations on qualification criteria.

From March 2014 onwards the decision to extend choice of providers and establish services as AQP and qualification of providers will rest entirely with CCGs. All such services will be posted by commissioners on the new contracts finder website – type AQP into the search function box

Implementation phase review

Diagnostic services closer to home were the most commonly selected service during 2012-2013, with the majority of CCGs commissioning non obstetric US, followed by direct access MRI.  A small number selected DXA and CT.

Tariffs for AQP Diagnostic Imaging services

Competition is based on quality and not price. All providers will be paid the same price for a particular service.  For diagnostic services closer to home there is a mandated tariff. Further details can be found within the NHSE National Tariff system .

Qualification Criteria

There are some essential qualification criteria providers must:

Monitor and NHSE publish documentation regarding the provider licence.

New NHS Structure England

The new health and care system for England became fully operational in April2013 further information can be found here.

Organisation structure charts for NHS England (formerly known as NHS Commissioning Board) can be viewed here.

Related Websites

NHS England

Public Health England

Healthwatch England

Health Education England

Clinical Senates

Sustainable Improvement Team

Monitor Health Care Regulator

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Directory of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)

Care Quality Commission

NHS e-Referral service 

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