Any Qualified Provider

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Conference
2012 Health Care Service Group Conference
Date
14 December 2011
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference is extremely alarmed by the roll out of Any Qualified Provider (AQP). Following experiences with the implementation of the similar Any Willing Provider policy on a West Midlands smoking cessation service, the contract was written in such a way that a number of NHS staff were lawfully made redundant as TUPE did not apply to their position. Hence in comparison we believe the AQP policy will also:

• Create massive expansion of private provision in healthcare

• Fragment the NHS

• Reduce terms and conditions of staff providing these services who were traditionally receiving Agenda for Change

• Create huge problems for workforce planning, as large numbers of providers will all compete against each other on a constant basis for work

• Lead to staff being increasingly employed through agencies so that providers can again meet fluctuations in demand

• Create instability and insecurity for patients and for staff. Staff may not know if they will be employed from one week to the next, while patients may be shunted between different providers depending on the whims of the market

• Although TUPE protections may apply at the point of transfer for staff, providers will merely be left to go bust if they do not get enough business and staff will have to apply for new jobs with one of the other providers in the market.

• Drive down quality of care and standards as providers will want to see as many patients as quickly as possible

Conference therefore calls on the Health Service Group Executive to:

1)Continue to publicise the detrimental effects of AQP and continue to campaign against its roll out

2)Continue to lobby government to try to ensure that workforce protections are built in as far as possible

3)Ensure that branches are aware of the implications of AQP and that they lobby locally with commissioners and MPs to ensure there is awareness of the potential dangers and build alliances with community organisations to oppose further moves to privatisation

4)Produce guidance to ensure that staff know about the potential limitation of TUPE to help them make the best decision if they are thinking of changing employer.