Bupa U-turn a ‘victory for campaigners’

Our joint A&E SOS campaign received more than 23,000 signatures

Our joint A&E SOS campaign received more than 23,000 signatures

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BUPA CSH Ltd’s decision not to continue with the procurement process to provide musculoskeletal services across West Sussex has been hailed as a ‘victory’ for campaigners.

The private consortium was the preferred bidder, having won a £235m contract last year, but today Bupa announced it’s decision to withdraw its interest.

C140871-1 Chi A and E protest  phot kate''Protesters outside St Richards A and E. Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140871-1 SUS-140915-171717001

C140871-1 Chi A and E protest phot kate''Protesters outside St Richards A and E. Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140871-1 SUS-140915-171717001

It follows an independent impact assessment which highlighted a number of concerns for the hospital trust which runs St Richard’s and Worthing hospitals.

Peter Lock and Jo Pritchard from Bupa CSH said: “The recent impact assessment means we cannot deliver the model we proposed without either compromising on the quality of care or destabilising other services.”

The Observer, Herald and Gazette Series’ campaign to ensure hospital services, particularly A&E, are protected received more than 20,000 signatures following Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) naming Bupa CSH Ltd as its preferred provider in September 2014.

And reacting to today’s major news, campaigners from Don’t Cut Us Out, Health Alert and Coastal West Sussex 38degrees, have claimed a ‘victory for the people of Coastal West Sussex who campaigned, protested, lobbied, and signed petitions in their thousands to safeguard MSK and A&E services in their local NHS hospital Trust’.

A joint statement said: “The people won. Supported by a magnificent local press they made their voices heard.

“We were right to challenge the CCG on this ill planned procurement and without our persistent challenges they would now be rolling out an MSK service that Bupa/CSH has itself acknowledged would worsen the financial position of our local hospitals and therefore be risk closure of some services.

“Why did the CCG not listen wasting so much time and resources in spite of the problems that were highlighted early on?”

A statement the CCG expressed ‘disappointment’ but ‘acceptance’ over Bupa CSH Ltd’s decision.

It is currently unclear if Western Sussex Hospital Trust, together with other NHS providers, will have to bid again to retain the services or if it will be put out to tender again for fresh bidding.

“The CCG remains committed to improving outcomes for our MSK patients, we need time to discuss the options with our board but expect to be able to outline our next steps shortly,” the CCG statement read.

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