Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Any qualified provider in NHS will start in April 2012

The government has made it clear in its response to the Future Forum that what they call "extending patients' choice of 'Any Qualified Provider'" will start in April 2012, even though it is in a "much more phased way" by limiting it to services where there is a tariff and not seeking blanket coverage. This is the main reform of the NHS and it is staying.

The recent amendments, although welcome and an improvement, are largely about rhetoric or would have probably happened anyway. For example, GP consortia couldn't have functioned without involving other clinicians. The emphasis on competition was potentially misleading, but essentially by opening up provision to any qualified provider that's what will be introduced (see previous post).

The earliest possible date for a national mental health tariff is 2013/14. It'll be interesting to see whether local tariffs can be set for April 2012. Anglia Mental Health Community Interest Company may need to wait before it can start operating.

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