APMS is one of the four routes available for primary care organisations (PCOs) to make provision for primary medical services to patients. Its introduction has broadened the range of potential providers from whom PCOs can commission services.
PCOs may commission APMS to provide essential services, additional services, including where GMS/PMS practices opt-out, enhanced services and out-of-hours services. APMS may be used where specific needs arise, such as through practice vacancies, or in areas with rapidly expanding populations where extra capacity is needed. It also opens up the provision of essential services to providers other than GMS and PMS practices, although it may in some areas initially be used for additional, enhanced and out of hours services.