Bupa backs out of bid to take on services

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NEGOTIATIONS aimed at awarding a huge slice of NHS orthopaedic services to a privately-run body have fallen through.

Bupa CSH has withdrawn from the procurement process that could have seen it take on £235m of musculoskeletal services across coastal West Sussex.

The decision was made after an independent impact assessment looking at the effect the procurement would have on wider services – including at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester – found the financial position of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would be worsened if Bupa provided the service.

Campaigners, who were worried the contract could have seen services downgraded at St Richard’s Hospital, are pleased.

Campaigner Margaret Guest said: ‘The people won. Supported by a magnificent local press they made their voices heard. We were right to challenge 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.’

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 health authority is looking at its options.