[Image: Stop UK Lies and Corruption.]

If the process by which Virgin Care won the contract to provide Lancashire’s ‘Healthy Child’ programme was transparent, it would be useful to examine the information that was provided to councillors, to see exactly what prompted their decision.

It is easy to suggest that a Conservative-run council is supporting a Conservative government policy to push health services into the hands of companies that are more interested in profit than care.

Virgin is one such company, as the lawsuit it launched after it lost an £82 million contract for children’s services proves.

And Lancashire has been bleeding health services into the private sector for a considerable period of time.

How well are those services provided?

Is the private sector really offering better, more cost-effective care?

Or are the people of Lancashire merely being cheated into giving their tax money to another gang of boardroom bandits?

All things considered, the answer seems clear.

A County Hall decision to award a £104m healthcare contract to the private sector instead of the NHS has sparked a storm of protest in Lancashire.

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 furious Labour leader on the county council branded the decision “privatisation by the back door.”

Preston MP Mark Hendrick said… “This is not privatisation by the back door, its privatisation by the front door.”

The programme, which covers services such as school nurses and health visitors for children and young people, is worth up to £20.8m a year.

The deal is now in a legal “standstill” period to allow the unsuccessful bidders to lodge a formal appeal.

Tory leaders today defended the process as “open and transparent”.

Source: Lancashire County Council award £104m NHS contract to Virgin Care – Lancashire Evening Post


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