BREAKING NEWS: Health chiefs halt MSK procurement process

Dr Katie Armstrong, clinical chief officer of the  Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Katie Armstrong, clinical chief officer of the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group

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THE NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group has decided to halt the existing musculoskeletal (MSK) procurement process, following a meeting of the Clinical Commissioning Executive on Tuesday.

The decision follows the withdrawal of its preferred bidder Bupa CSH.

Dr Katie Armstrong, clinical chief officer of the CCG, said: “Our GP locality directors, executives and lay-members all contributed to a productive meeting. We discussed the legal advice around whether the withdrawal of the preferred bidder meant the CCG needed to go back to the other bidders, start a further procurement exercise or, given the information that has come to light since the announcement of the preferred bidder, whether the CCG is able to commission the service in another way.”

The CCG’s desire to introduce the new service will not be effected by the decision to halt the procurement process, said Dr Armstrong.

She continued: “The MSK service model was designed by clinicians and patients and is a strong and well-supported model.

“The CCG will keep all options open, with an aim to introduce the service as quickly as possible. We will begin discussions with current providers of MSK services as our preferred approach.”

All current contracts have been extended to the end of September.

Marianne Griffiths, chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased the CCG’s Clinical Commissioning Executive body has confirmed its preferred approach will now be to begin discussions with current providers of MSK services, including the Trust.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the CCG and other NHS partners to develop an innovative model of care, which will further improve care for all patients of musculoskeletal services.”