Virgin Care: A case study in how private corporations loot the UK’s National Health Service

 

Virgin Care: A case study in how private corporations loot the UK’s National Health Service

By
Ajanta Silva

23 December 2017

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) recently exposed a scandalous handout given to private healthcare company Virgin Care by a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in the county of Surrey, England.

This brings to light how private companies are plundering the National Health Service (NHS) with impunity like never before, with the blessing of central governments.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 replaced the secretary of state for health’s “duty to provide health care” with a “duty to arrange,” and provided the basis to create 211 Clinical Commissioning Groups, which are allowed to purchase care from any “qualified provider.”

The Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group accidentally disclosed in its October public finance papers a backdoor payment of £328,000 to Virgin Care, owned by billionaire business mogul Richard Branson. This would not have come to public knowledge were it not for the mistake on CCG’s part.

The removal of the report from the Surrey Downs CCG website—after the HSJ made enquiries about the settlement—testifies to the ongoing conspiracy to keep the population in the dark about the scope of the influence of private companies. Surrey Downs CCG later stated that this “level of detail should not have been included in the report.”

In 2016, Virgin Care lost its bid to provide children’s health services across Surrey—a contract worth £82 million. It then sued NHS England, Surrey County Council and six CCGs in Surrey, arguing that there were “serious flaws in the procurement process.” Surrey Downs CCG handed over the payment as a part of their liability in an out of court settlement with the private…

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