LETTER: Best health services to be offered

I WRITE in response to letters and articles within your paper regarding Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) decision to offer Bupa CSH Ltd the contract as prime provider for musculoskeletal services from January, 2015.

We are currently in contract discussion and negotiations with Bupa CSH Ltd and are very keen for your readers to understand that as the commissioner we would expect hospital services to be delivered locally and we are clear that certainty of hospital services will be an explicit term of the contract.

To this end we are pleased and encouraged that discussions between Bupa CSH Ltd and Western Sussex Hospitals Trust about the provision of elective orthopaedic work under the contract are already under way.

Trauma and A&E services are not part of this procurement and the CCG would like to assure the public that these are not under threat; we will continue to commission these services from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It may be helpful if I outline why we are procuring a new MSK service, what we are expecting that service to deliver and who we would want to be involved in the delivery.

I also want to assure your readers that we value the health services delivered by Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and all our other partners involved in the current MSK service and would encourage them to continue their discussions with the prime provider, Bupa CSH Ltd – who are keen to secure an arrangement with the trust as soon as possible.

The CCG is tasked with arranging the best possible healthcare for its 482,000 patients. Our current MSK service offers patients high quality care and good outcomes, but patients also experience confusion and frustration under the current system. As an example, if a patient needs treatment from another part of the MSK service, they are often referred back to their GP, and a second letter is written by the GP to refer the patient to the next part of the service.

All parties involved in the current MSK service agreed some time ago that things needed to be improved for our patients. The scale of the improvement project meant the only option open to the CCG was procurement – conducted under EU regulations.

Under the new service, patients will be referred to the MSK service by their GP and the MSK service prime provider, Bupa CSH Ltd, will manage all patient contacts from that point forward. This more joined-up service will greatly improve the patient’s journey; enabling them to feel more in control of their health.

All the current treatment options will continue for our patients, with access to a range of treatments from physiotherapy to surgery.

The preferred prime provider – Bupa CSH Ltd – is now discussing with local providers how best to deliver these services from next January.

We are deeply worried about the concerns of the community and would like to assure readers that the CCG values the MSK services delivered by WSHFT and all of its current providers and is working with the preferred prime provider to ensure this new contract offers the best services for its patients and maintains the stability of our NHS partners.

Andrew Williamson

Chairman

Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group