When Virgin Care did not win the healthcare contracts they wanted they sued the cash-strapped NHS for £328,000. And yet despite that, they have been awarded another NHS contract. For £104 million.
Currently over 68,000 people have signed a petition to demand Richard Branson’s Virgin Care hands back over £328,000 after taking legal action against six Surrey clinical commissioning groups, Surrey County Council and NHS England.
At the same time Lancashire County Council award £104m NHS contract to Virgin Care, reports Lancashire Evening Post
Richard Branson’s Virgin Care company has beaten Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust in the tendering process to run the county’s 0-19 Healthy Child Programme for the next five years.
The move has been branded “privatisation by the back door” and has caused outrage across Lancashire and beyond. Branson seems to be expanding his empire into the far corners of the NHS.
Unite official Steve Turner of the Protect Chorley Hospital from Cuts and Privatisation group said: “This just shows the contempt that the Tories on the county council hold public sector workers in.
“It is exactly what we have been warning people about. These contracts are now being given to the private sector and it is clearly the Government’s agenda.”
”Councillor Azhar Ali said: “This is a massive contract and it has major ramifications for healthcare in Lancashire. It is a terrible blow and could have an impact on the viability of the Lancashire Care Trust.”
A Virgin spokesman said: “We are currently involved in a procurement process and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”