HEALTH chiefs have moved to explain the changes to local orthopaedic services following the award of a £235m contract to private health company BupaCSH Ltd.
A spokesperson for the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which on Thursday September 4 announced it had handed the contract for Musculoskeletal (MSK) services to BupaCSH Ltd, insisted patient choice ‘will not be affected’ by the deal.
Laura Robertson, senior communications manager, said in a statement: “The CCG has clarified that the new contract appoints an organisation as ‘lead provider’ who will be responsible for all community and hospital MSK services.
“This new partnership of Central Surrey Healthcare and BUPA UK (BUPA CSH Ltd) will then set up contracts locally with NHS providers and other organisations to provide local care.
“Initial discussions have already taken place with the current providers and this will continue now that the preferred bidder has been announced.”
The changes mean Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and Worthing Hospital, will no longer be responsible for orthopaedic services.
The ongoing discussions are for those hospitals to still provide the same NHS services to patients but those services, along with those in the community, will now be under the overall responsibilty of BupaCSH Ltd, Mrs Robertson said.
It is expected that the five-year contract will be signed at the start of October and will have a ‘fixed financial envelope’ which is expected to be in the region of £235m.
The contract signing will be followed by a three month period during which the new service will be mobilised – ready for a January 2015 start.
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