Meeting on impact of MSK contract delayed until December

Our A&E SOS campaign now has more than 8,500 signatures
Our A&E SOS campaign now has more than 8,500 signatures

THE Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee (HASC) meeting where NHS chiefs will be asked to explain impact of a controversial musculoskeletal services contract has been moved to Friday, December 5.

The meeting had been due to take place on Thursday November 13.

Chairman of the committee, Margaret Evans and vice-chairman Dr James Walsh have taken the decision to move the date after discussions with the NHS.

The Musculoskeletal (MSK) services contract was awarded by Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to a new lead provider Bupa CSH Ltd.

HASC reviewed this at its last meeting on Thursday, October 2 and asked for the impact of the new MSK services on other health services to be fully assessed, including on local trauma services, and agreed the issue should come back to the next HASC meeting.

Mrs Evans said: “The MSK contract is a matter of significant concern to the Committee and to the public.

“We feel it’s important to enable the Committee to have the correct and most up-to-date information so we can be fully informed about the implications and impact of the new MSK services.

“James Walsh and I understand it is a very complex issue. We met with the CCG and decided it is important to allow them this extra time for contractual negotiations before they report back to the Committee, so we have the most timely information from them.”

By holding the meeting on the planned November date, it would have meant the CCG wouldn’t have been able to provide HASC with the full level of information required on the impact of the new MSK services and how it affects other health services.

Since the award of the £235m contract last month the Observer has received thousands of signatured backing our A&E SOS campaign, which calls for a guarantee that accident and emergency services won’t be downgraded as a result.

Musculoskeletal services deal with a variety of conditions affecting people’s muscles, bones and joints and range from hospital services such as orthopaedic surgery to services provided in the community such as physiotherapy and pain management.

The meeting on Friday, December 5, will start at 11.15am, at County Hall in Chichester.

The meeting will also be webcast via the County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk