Report due into future of South Downs A&E

The average remaining life expectancy in East Lindsey is slightly lower than average, at 19.3 years.
The average remaining life expectancy in East Lindsey is slightly lower than average, at 19.3 years.

The results of an independent impact assessment into proposed new NHS musculoskeletal services (MSK) will be known this week.

That was the update to West Sussex Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee (HASC) last Friday (December 5).

The MSK could be sold to Bupa CSH Ltd, but in doing do there are fears it would put accident and emergency services at risk used by residents of the South Downs.

Should it go ahead it could affect the viability of A&E services used by residents of the South Downs.

The reasons are twofold. MSK services are some of the most lucrative in the NHS with the services, such as A&E, losing money.

Therefore the profit-making elements of the NHS are crucial to balance the books and sustain complete services.

Secondly, many surgeons who carry out planned orthopaedic procedures, such as hip replacements, are the same as those who would do emergency surgery.

The impact assessment will provide a clearer picture of how hospital services might be affected by the plans for MSK services in the Coastal West Sussex area.

The committee has been scrutinising the plans which have been causing concern within the community.

Health bosses from Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed they would share the results, apart from any commercially sensitive information, with the Committee.

Chairman of the Committee Margaret Evans said: “We will look very closely at the impact assessment’s results as the MSK contract has been a matter of significant concern to the Committee and to the public.

“We sought reassurances at today’s meeting that services will remain free at the point of need and the CCG confirmed this.

“Our ultimate aim is to make sure residents get the best service. This process is taking some time but it is important that if there is a substantial change to health services in the area that this is identified and properly reviewed.”

HASC’s next meeting on January 21 2015 will receive an update from the CCG and Trust on progress following the impact assessment’s findings.