Virgin has secured NHS funding that could have been spent on patients, says BMA

By agency reporter
August 8, 2018

Responding to reports that Virgin has been awarded almost £2 billion worth of NHS contracts over the past five years, Dr Robert Harwood, chair of the consultants committee of the British Medical Association, said: “The BMA has previously highlighted that the role of independent sector providers in the NHS was increasing, and set out a range of concerns about the impact this was having on NHS services.

“Two years later, these concerns still stand and spending on healthcare from ISPs increased by over a third since 2013/14. Some of the contracts awarded to the private sector have been poor value for money.  In the case of Virgin, they have secured even more NHS funding that could have been spent on patients by winning a cash settlement from several NHS trusts as a result of legal action.

"We firmly believe that the NHS should be publicly funded and publicly provided, and that ultimately the introduction of a competitive procurement framework has been, and will continue to be, detrimental to the health service.

“Patient care simply cannot take second place to finances nor damaging legislation. At a time when the NHS is facing huge financial pressure, it is vital that taxpayers money is used to support overstretched NHS services to provide high-quality, safe care to patients, not to fund multi-million pound private contracts.”

* British Medical Association https://www.bma.org.uk/

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