Our response to change in the NHS
Clearly, planned changes to the NHS are affecting the way health professionals work together and we are expecting major changes between now and 2013. We start by looking at how the practice of orthoptics could change in different parts of the healthcare system and our interface with GPs, in particular....
Orthoptists in Acute Trusts – all will be working in a Foundation Trust by 2014 and this type of operation will compete for patients on price and quality of care. From 2013 we expect that local GP-led commissioning consortia will operate and may redesign services and change the role of orthoptists. Patients will get “no decision without me” which may affect the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals.
Orthoptists working in the community – those employed by the provider arm of a primary care trust will transfer to a new employer with potential changes to terms and conditions. Again we expect roles to change as GP-led consortia redesign services. Patients will have more choice and will expect to take part in making decisions about their healthcare, which could affect relationships with them.
Orthoptist Managers – More intense competition between organisations may mean that some foundation trusts merge or even close. Quality of care and patient outcomes will be a key decider in whether services are commissioned with particular Trusts. GPs need to understand the benefits of orthoptics and how it can contribute to improving health and well-being.
Orthoptists in independent practice – the NHS will be able to buy services from “any qualified provider” or AQP and so orthoptists in this sector could contract with GP consortia or local authorities who will have the responsibility for public health (rather than PCTs as is currently).