STRUCTURE: Podiatry, musculoskeletal and adult hearing services will be opened up to competition from any qualified provider by NHS Liverpool in 2012, according to a new “AQP map” published by the Department of Health.

All primary care trusts were required to choose three areas of community and mental health services in which to open up AQP competition in 2012-13. They are expected to be able to offer patients a choice of any qualified provider in these services by September next year.

The same services will be opened up to AQP by all commissioners in the Merseyside “cluster” including Sefton, Liverpool, Knowsley, and Halton and St Helens.