Bupa CSH pulls out of South Downs MSK contract talks

A&E, St Richard's Hospital ''Picture by Louise Adams C140028-6 Chi St Richard's Hospital ENGSUS00120140113154258
A&E, St Richard's Hospital ''Picture by Louise Adams C140028-6 Chi St Richard's Hospital ENGSUS00120140113154258

A controversial health contract, which could have put South Downs accident and emergency services at risk has fallen through, it has been announced this morning (January 26).

The Coastal West Sussex NHS Clinical Commissioning Group had been holding discussions with the Bupa CSH to run its musculo-skeletal MSK services.

If successful, the £235m contract could have put the A&E services at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester due to skills and resources being diverted to the MSK unit.

An impact assessment had been carried out looking into the impact of such a deal.

A statement released by Bupa CSH this morning reads:

Bupa CSH today announced, with regret, that it would not be continuing in the procurement process to provide MSK services in Coastal West Sussex.

Bupa CSH had been looking forward to working with the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and current providers to develop a more coordinated and higher quality service for local patients. Both patients and clinicians have said this is needed.

We have taken this decision in agreement with the CCG because the recent Impact Assessment, requested by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in November (after Bupa CSH was selected as the preferred bidder) and jointly commissioned by the Trust and the CCG, has shown that the financial position of the Trust would be worsened by implementation of the contract.

This has changed our ability to implement the integrated care service – which we modelled on information available to us during the commissioning process in early 2014 – and means we cannot deliver the model without either compromising on the quality of care or destabilising other local services – neither of which we are prepared to do.

Peter Lock and Jo Pritchard from Bupa CSH said: “Our priority was to provide high quality and better coordinated care for local patients, and we have worked hard with the CCG to try and find a solution.

“However, the recent impact assessment means we cannot deliver the model we proposed without either compromising on the quality of care or destabilising other services.

“This is disappointing, but we fully support the CCG’s vision to improve MSK care in Coastal West Sussex. We acknowledge that transforming local health systems in these challenging times is extremely difficult for commissioners who want to introduce new care models.

“We remain committed to working in partnership with the NHS and the public sector to deliver high quality health and care services.”

Reaction from the Coastal West Sussex NHS Clinical Commission Group