Health chiefs quizzed over MSK deal

A protest was held before the hasc meeting
A protest was held before the hasc meeting

NHS decision-makers were again quizzed about their decision to hand a major set of health services to private consortium Bupa CSH Ltd.

Today’s meeting of the county council’s health and adult social care select committee (hasc) heard that the results of an independent assessment commissioned to look at the impact of a £235m musculoskeletal (MSK) contract would be finished next week.

It will identify any threat to current health services, including accident and emergency, which have been sounded by the hospital trust that runs St Richard’s and Worthing hospitals.

Chairman of the committee Margaret Evans said: “We will look very closely at the impact assessment’s results as the MSK contract has been a matter of significant concern to the committee and to the public.

“We sought reassurances at today’s meeting that services will remain free at the point of need and the CCG confirmed this.

“Our ultimate aim is to make sure residents get the best service. This process is taking some time but it is important that if there is a substantial change to health services in the area that this is identified and properly reviewed.”

Hasc’s next meeting on January 21, 2015 will receive an update from the CCG and trust on progress following the impact assessment’s findings.

Campaigners seeking to reverse the contract decision held a protest before the meeting.

At today’s meeting hasc members asked key questions to members of the CCG, including:

Why is Bupa CSH Ltd planning to invest £50,000 a year from the MSK contract into other community projects instead of back into the NHS?

Why was the contract put out to tender in the first place?

A special report on the meeting will appear in next week’s Chichester Observer newspaper.