Negotiations on a new contract to run key Musculoskeletal (MSK) services out of Worthing and Chichester hospitals could be completed by November.
These services could have been privatised as Bupa was originally awarded the £235m contract by the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) last year but the company pulled out in January.
The CCG, which is led by GPs and commissions health services, then took the decision in June to open contract negotiations over a new MSK contract with Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs both Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, and these could be completed by November.
Margaret Evans, chairman of West Sussex County Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee, said: “We will be keeping an eye on it but we are going somewhere.”
A campaign jointly run by the Worthing Herald series, Chichester Observer series and Littlehampton Gazette to secure the future of hospital services including Accident and Emergency departments received more than 23,000 signatures and the petition was presented to Government officials in Whitehall.
It was launched after hospital chiefs said that losing the MSK contract would threaten the future of A&E departments at both Worthing and Chichester’s hospitals.
An update on the situation was given to the HASC select committee yesterday (Thursday October 1), and members were told that commercial negotiations are due to conclude with WSHFT in November, and the process of co-design and engagement with clinicians and patients would be running from September to December.
Some of the changes could be brought in during April 2016, while the current plan would see the new service to be fully in place by the end of June.
The full IT clinical portal will not be ready until 2017 so interim measures will be put in place for the integrated care the CCG expected for patients can start to be delivered from July 2016.
The update says that as negotiations take place the CCG will continue to keep the public and local stakeholders informed in the process.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.