A decision by the West Sussex Coastal Commissioning Group to award a £235million musculoskeletal services contract to private firm BUPA is raising alarm across the County.
This is the first local evidence we have of the ‘privatisation by stealth’ of the NHS which has been anticipated since the passing of the Health & Social Care Act, 2012. The decision to award £235million of vital NHS services to BUPA, so they may extract a private surplus for themselves, has been made by an unaccountable group of GPs.
What’s more, handing over these contracts for the privateers can destabilise all NHS services. Western Sussex Hospital Trust has written to every GP in the county expressing serious concerns about the viability of its Accident & Emergency services at Chichester and Worthing Hospitals if the privatisation goes ahead.
This is all bad enough. It becomes truly shocking when you take into account BUPA’s disgraceful performance within West Sussex. Only last year BUPA had to close one of its West Sussex care homes due to a damning CQC Inspection report which found vulnerable elderly people lying soaked in their own urine, amongst other outrages. UNISON West Sussex members working for West Sussex County Council were called on to help rehouse the elderly residents at short notice.
Campaigners organised an impromptu demonstration outside St Richard’s Hospital on Monday lunchtime.
There is a petition available for UNISON members, friends and family to sign.
There will also be a public meeting organised for October 15th at 7.30pm in Chichester. Hold this date in your diary whilst details are finalised.