ANY QUALIFIED PROVIDER 'AQP'
Whenever patients need to be referred to consultants or clinical specialists, a chat with your GP is needed to get the ball rolling. However, a new service has been introduced this year called ‘Any Qualified Provider’ (AQP).
A brief description of AQP:
The government is using this process to offer patients more choice and improve access whilst still providing high quality care. A number of different NHS services are part of AQP and Cornwall/Southwest has four options;
· MSK – Physiotherapy for Neck & Back
· Audiology – Hearing tests
· IAPT – Talking/counselling sessions
· Non-obstetric Ultrasound and MRI
AQP has already been introduced in your area you now have a choice of who you wish to visit for the above services. Each local area will be different, offering you a different selection of service providers. These might include:
- GP surgeries Health Centres
- High street hearing aid dispensing chains (e.g. Specsavers and Boots)
- Charities (e.g. Action for Deafness)
Regardless of which service provider you choose to receive your care will still be free of charge to you as an NHS patient.
Local authorities have recently replaced your local Primary Care Trust (PCT) with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG). It is the responsibility of the CCG to advise GPs about who is suitable to be referred to services using the AQP route. For example, a person with multiple disabilities who requires a more complex assessment will be referred to the local NHS hospital.
For more information please see Minor Illness.