The idea of the NHS becoming fully privatised has been floating about for a while but it seems as though this has slowly become a reality, it was recently announced that Richard Branson’s health firm Virgin Care had won a £700 million contract in Bath and north-east Somerset. The contract worth £70 million a year enables Virgin Care to deliver NHS and social care services to over 200,000 people and from the 1st April Virgin Care will be a provider of a variety of care for both adults and children, including offering services for people who suffer with dementia, mental health and diabetes.
There has been huge concern about the quality of care patients receive from privatised companies, so it is no surprise people are worried about Virgin Care as they aim to dominate the health care community across England. Paul Evans, co-ordinator of the NHS Support Federation said, “The experience so far from the NHS outsourcing is that companies struggle to deliver the level of service that patients need and make a profit,” he further added that “In too many instances outsourced healthcare has resulted in care being compromised to cut costs. Patients need secure services that they can trust and rely on.” Further concerns raised were the possibility of local NHS, charitable and housing bodies losing valuable income with the takeover from Virgin Care.