Providing services for us
Procurement: 'Opening up' of the healthcare market
The healthcare market has 'opened up' in recent years as an increasing range of organisations, both NHS and non-NHS, have been encouraged to become providers of clinical services.
The rationale is that by increasing the number of providers there are greater opportunities to drive up quality, improve value for money and provide more personalised care and choice for patients.
There are three routes NHS West Sussex can take when procuring or buying new healthcare services:
Extending existing primary medical services contracts.
Putting a service out to tender.
Using the AWP (Any Willing Provider) or AWPP (Any Willing PCT Accredited Provider) models.
For routine elective care NHS West Sussex will use the AWP model. Elective care services are those services where the patient’s care is part of a planned package of care (eg: referral to an orthopaedic surgeon with a painful knee or referral to a hospital-based dermatology department with a skin condition).
For services other than routine elective services, NHS West Sussex will use the AWPP model as the route for procurement.
What are AWP and AWPP?
Any Willing Provider (AWP) and Any Willing PCT Accredited Provider (AWPP) are intended to establish whether a particular provider meets certain service provision criteria and quality standards. They are not tendering processes.
The difference between AWP and AWPP is that AWPP allows commissioners to specify additional requirements on top of those required for AWP, enabling NHS West Sussex to commission services which best meet local needs and circumstances.
NHS West Sussex can approve a number of willing providers for the same service as long as they meet required criteria and quality standards. In an open process all providers meeting the service specification and service-specific criteria will be approved as accredited providers for that service.
General principles governing the AWP and AWPP processes are:
Providers must be registered with the Care Quality Commission to provide the defined service.
Providers will be subject to scrutiny and evaluation to ensure appropriate competence and compliance with quality and safety standards.
Providers must comply with appropriate standard NHS contract terms.
Willing provider status carries no guarantees from NHS West Sussex of financial commitment or activity.
All procurements should be fair, open and transparent.
Market management is the way we manage and maintain the structure of healthcare provision. Effective market management and using competition among healthcare providers will increase innovation. NHS West Sussex has developed our market management policies with the aim of achieving world class commissioning status. In West Sussex, we intend to do this by providing a higher quality of care with even greater value for money.
The following documents outline the procurement principles and processes NHS West Sussex will employ as the framework for buying healthcare services to ensure best value for patients and taxpayers. They also outline our approach to market management and our policies for AWP and AWPP.
The document below is a summary of these policy areas for those who would like an understanding of our approach to market management and buying.