COMMERCIAL: NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly have decided to open up adult primary care psychological therapies, musculo-skeletal services for back and neck pain and community adult hearing services to any qualified provider.

All primary care trusts must identify at least three services to tender under AQP from a list of eight provided by the department of health by the end of October. Patients receiving those services must have a choice of any qualified provider by September 2012.

PCTs were required to complete public engagement on the issue by the end of September. Staff from NHS Cornwall gave presentatations on AQP to the Local INvovement Network (LINk) and the council’s health overview and scrutiny committee while a survey received 92 responses.

The services, ratified by the PCT at its October board meeting, were then selected following a stakeholder event where attendees were asked to score each of the eight potential services against scoring principles identified as most important by the public.

These were then considered alongisde factors including reducing health inequalities, shortening waiting times, the impact on existing services and staff and resource implications.