Negotiations with hospitals on new MSK contract could be completed by November

WH 280115 Worthing Hospital A&E - politicians/campaigners celebrating the news Bupa has pulled out of running an MSK contract. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150128-094209001

WH 280115 Worthing Hospital A&E - politicians/campaigners celebrating the news Bupa has pulled out of running an MSK contract. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150128-094209001

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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.

A&E, St Richard's Hospital''Picture by Louise Adams C140028-4 Chi St Richard's Hospital ENGSUS00120140113154157

A&E, St Richard's Hospital''Picture by Louise Adams C140028-4 Chi St Richard's Hospital ENGSUS00120140113154157

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.

Steve Pickthall standing outside of the department for health with a box full over over 20,000 signatures. London SUS-150902-113335001

Steve Pickthall standing outside of the department for health with a box full over over 20,000 signatures. London SUS-150902-113335001

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.

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