Stuart Rennison-Price, Virgin Care’s chief operating officer,
responds to a recent article about NHS cuts
Polly Toynbee writes that we at Virgin Care sued the NHS when we were “denied the chance to tender for profitable contracts” (These brutal cuts to the NHS will haunt the Conservatives, 25 October).
Polly has not mentioned several key points in her statement. Firstly, this was an out-of-court settlement we were involved in following a procurement process in Surrey. We became concerned this was flawed and asked for it to be re-run, a legal process that many NHS Trusts also pursue. For example, in Lancashire this recently happened after the council awarded a contract to us. This happens as bidders want to ensure the right provider is picked. However, Surrey’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) refused to talk, signed a contract with a new provider and chose to pay us instead of having their decision overturned in court.
All of this money has gone into developing services we are commissioned to run by the NHS and local authorities, including in Surrey. You can read more on this here.
Secondly, Virgin Care has never actually made a profit, the Virgin Group has invested more than £60m to date supporting doctors and nurses and significantly reducing waiting lists and Richard Branson has vowed that, if we ever make a profit over and above that investment, he will not draw a dividend and instead reinvest this in improving NHS and local authority services with our frontline colleagues choosing how.
Chief operating officer, Virgin Care
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