ORTHOPAEDIC services in local hospitals are being shaken up after a £235 contract was awarded to private health company BupaCSH Ltd.
Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has handed the contract for Musculoskeletal (MSK) services to BupaCSH Ltd.
“The new service will offer a more joined-up health system for patients that is focused on achieving the best possible patient outcomes, but will also reduce bureaucracy and speed up the patient journey,” said a spokeswoman.
“The procurement process has focused on improving the experience of MSK patients in the coastal West Sussex area.”
The changes mean Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Richard’s and Worthing Hospital, will no longer be responsible for orthopaedic services, prompting fears from patients.
Lady Bridget Nixon said: “When you think of all the elderly people in this area, it is just awful.
“They are the ones that need orthopaedic treatment.”
Discussions are ongoing between the new partnership of Central Surrey Healthcare and BUPA UK and the current local NHS providers with a spokesperson insisting that ‘patient choice will not be affected’.
It is expected that the five-year contract will be signed at the start of October and will have a ‘fixed financial envelope’, expected to be in the region of £235m.
Dr Katie Armstrong, clinical chief officer of Coastal West Sussex CCG said: “Our new partner impressed the evaluation panel by continuously demonstrating that the patient will be at the centre of everything they put in place.
“I am confident that once bedded in the new service will quickly deliver excellent quality and value and am encouraged that as we do, the provider will see their patients as partners in their care going forward.”
The contract signing will be followed by a three-month period during which the new service will be mobilised – ready for a January, 2015, start.
All current community health care professionals will be offered the opportunity of working for the new provider under the NHS Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions with NHS pension.
We are waiting for a statement from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Further updates will be published as we receive them but we want to hear your views on the changes.