Meeting to discuss impact of contract

People from across the area attend Worthing Hospital's A&E department
People from across the area attend Worthing Hospital's A&E department

HEALTH bosses will update councillors on the potential impact of a controversial new NHS musculoskeletal contract at an important upcoming meeting.

An update on how the £235 million contract, awarded to Bupa CSH Ltd, could affect trauma services is expected on December 5.

The West Sussex Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee (HASC) will hear the latest on an impact assessment, jointly commissioned by the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Committee chairman Margaret Evans and vice-chairman Dr James Walsh have welcomed the news, which will provide a clearer picture on the contract’s impact.

Mrs Evans said: “The MSK contract is a matter of significant concern to the committee and to the public and everyone wants to make sure that all the implications are fully assessed, including what, if any, impact on local trauma services.

“It is important that these results are made public.”

Although the committee will hear the latest about the assessment, the full outcomes may not be established until the new year.

Mrs Evans said: “We are pleased to hear the impact assessment is underway. This is a positive step by the CCG and the trust.

“It is right that both organisations give us an update on progress and next steps at our meeting on December 5, although we understand that the outcomes of this impact assessment won’t be available in time for the HASC meeting.

“It may be that a full update won’t be available until the new year. We now need to be patient and allow time for the impact assessment to be carried out and the implications assessed.”

The meeting was originally moved from November to allow extra time for crucial NHS discussions, and as a result, the agreement was made to co-commission the joint impact assessment.

The meeting on Friday, December 5, will start at 10.30am, at County Hall in Chichester. The meeting will be webcast and can be watched online at www.westsussex.public-i.tv/core/

Limited public seating will be available for people wishing to attend to observe the meeting.

Anybody who wants to attend is asked to reserve their space by calling 033022 2254 by 12pm on Thursday, December 4.