To me, outsourcing NHS services is a scam. It makes fat cat outsourcing company bosses rich. Virgin Care
comes to mind, like Serco with its WLBC leisure service contracts. Who doesn’t think the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill scheme is a scam?
In a bid to raise awareness, the businessman Richard Branson has released an animated guide to explain the ways that criminals use his name and likeness to steal personal and financial information. He also recommends reporting anything you think is a scam, to Action Fraud. You would anyway, wouldn’t you?
In a video, a cartoon version of Branson points out that scammers are contacting people who post on Virgin social feeds. “Even if it’s a verified account, know that I never direct message anyone, nor does my team. I never endorse any get-rich-quick schemes, this is a sure-fire way to lose your investment”.
“I have written several times warning people about the growing problem of fake stories online linking me to get-rich-quick schemes, fake pages, misleading ads, false endorsements and fake binary trading schemes” he wrote in a blog post.
Virgin Care claims “In West Lancashire we’ve been commissioned to improve the experience of people using these services by introducing new ways of working, making the best use of technology and increasing efficiency”.
People might have an opinion that Virgin Care is a “get me Rich[ard] quick” scheme, at cost to tax payers who fund the NHS, or think they do? In July last year Rosie Cooper MP suggested “Delivering good services for people should be the focus of our public services not profit, as our public services belong to the people. It’s time to end the outsourcing scandal which has seen private companies rip off the taxpayer, degrade our public services in West Lancashire and put people at risk whilst remaining wholly unaccountable to the people who rely on and ultimately fund these services.
“Nationally and locally, we’ve seen the mess caused by private providers like Serco and Virgin Care who seek to make profits from these contracts. After year upon year of failures the public has rightly lost confidence in the privatisation of our public services and the carve up of the public realm for private profit. The government’s ideological pursuit of privatisation and outsourcing has seen the public pay the price as fat cat bosses count their profits”.
Virgin Care runs Adult Community Services and Urgent Care Services on behalf of the NHS in West Lancashire which includes community nursing and Skelmersdale and Ormskirk Walk in Centres.
Rosie hit out at the “Continued and blatant privatisation of the National Health Service, with previously free treatments now being charged for, directly by the NHS. Routine treatments such as cataract surgery and hip replacements are now considered as procedures of low clinical value and are being charged for at a local hospital trust.
“Warrington and Halton Hospitals Trust have a list of treatments they now charge for under their ‘My Choice’ programme. Rosie, a member of Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee, said “I have consistently opposed the privatisation of the NHS, but this latest horrific news shows just how ‘normal’ it has become that a hospital and its Board think this is acceptable to taxpayers. They should hang their heads in shame!
“In West Lancashire, the CCG farmed out contracts to the private provider Virgin Care, and nearby at Warrington and Halton the NHS Hospital Trust itself is now charging for treatments including cataract and hip replacements.
“The Trust has a list of procedures they’re charging for, with hip and knee replacements costing over £7,000. This is the galloping privatisation of the NHS under the Tories continuing. The outrageous message this NHS Trust is sending is ‘Can’t afford it – we don’t care if you’re in pain or can’t see!’
“What’s next, will we need to take our credit cards with us every time we visit hospital. The Health Secretary needs to be clear about this now”.
It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?