A&E services under new threat

Massive protests took place the last time St Richard's A&E was under threat in 2006.
Massive protests took place the last time St Richard's A&E was under threat in 2006.
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CHICHESTER’S Accident & Emergency services face a new threat following a controversial decision to hand a multi-million-pound NHS contract to private company Bupa CSH Ltd.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is considering challenging the decision to award a £235m musculoskeletal (MSK) away from it and other NHS providers.

The loss of one of its biggest money-making services has left Western bosses fearing it could threaten the very future of its two A&E trauma units at St Richard’s in Chichester and Worthing Hospital

Mike Jennings, commercial director at Western, said: “At the moment, our main concern is about how this will affect our trauma services.

“Emergency surgery on fractures or broken hips in the elderly is done by the same surgeons who do planned hip and knee replacements, but the trauma services are not included in the MSK contract.”

The trust has written to every GP in West Sussex expressing these concerns.

A spokeswoman for Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, which awarded the contract, insisted the new deal addressed the need for a more ‘joined-up’ service to patients, who would still be treated for hip replacements, fractures and other MSK services locally by NHS providers.

Full story on what this means for patients and staff across West Sussex in today’s Chichester Observer, Midhurst Observer and Bognor Observer.