Posted by: westlancashirerecord | November 22, 2016

Rosie Cooper MP Responds To Virgin Care Decision

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper rosieparl has reacted with outrage to West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to appoint private health company, Virgin Care to run both urgent care and community health services across the borough. She believes the decision is a slap in the face to local NHS providers and to the strength of residents’ opposition to the privatisation of their health services.

From the outset West Lancashire CCG have been hell bent on taking these contracts off the current provider, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. It has been their intention to destabilise the hospital trust.Responding to the announcement by the CCG, MP Rosie Cooper said “West Lancashire CCG have got their way on the urgent care and community health services contracts by awarding them to a private company. They’re all talk about integrating services but having asked the CCG many questions, their actions don’t match their words. rosiehosp

“This entire process has been conducted without sufficient openness and transparency and without any obvious consideration to the future of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. The CCG have ignored the thousands of West Lancashire residents who expressed their opposition to a private company running frontline health services by signing petitions, campaigning and asking questions.

“Now the contract has been awarded it is time for the CCG to open the books on this entire process. Time to show us exactly on what basis local GPs decided to privatise our services and damage our local hospital. Already Virgin Care are showing themselves to be distant and anonymous with an unidentified spokesperson being quoted in the West Lancashire CCG press release announcing their decision. I suspect this is the shape of things to come. Anonymous and detached from the people they are supposed to be here to care for and serve.

“If people are failed because of West Lancashire CCG’s decision then I will expect those responsible for this awful decision to be offering their resignations. My message to the people of West Lancashire is simple. If these services fail you, let me know!”

Virgin Care was founded in March 2010 when Virgin acquired a majority stake in Assura Medical; the renaming took place in March 2012. Assura began life in 2003 as a property investment company, The Medical Property Investment Fund Limited (MPIF), which then became Assura Medical in 2006. The property arm of Assura continues to trade as a separate company listed on the LSE as Assura Group Ltd. The deal this month with Bath and North East Somerset CCG and the local council made the unprecedented move of awarding a £700 million contract to Virgin Care that includes adult social care – the first time adult social care has been privatised. Another interesting aspect of this contract was that it was reported by the CCG and the council involved that a clause was included in the contract under which Virgin would reinvest any “financial surplus” in the service. What this means exactly is unclear, however. There is a long list of deals done for NHS Services and Virgin Care.

Virgin Care claims “Since 2006 we’ve treated more than five million people, providing care good enough for our own families”. Virgin Care has been accused of forcing patients to attend “unnecessary” extra appointments to get extra NHS cash. MP Paula Sherriff attacked the private health firm for “boosting their profits at the expense of the taxpayer and patient safety”.

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