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Virgin Care bags major £700m health and care co-ordination deal

Virgin Care has been chosen as the preferred bidder to co-ordinate over 200 health and care services in Bath and North East Somerset as part of a major £700m contract.

According to NHS Bath and North East Somerset CCG, the deal is intended to strengthen health and care co-ordination in the region after several complaints from people who claim to “have difficulty finding their way” around the system.

The contract is worth £69.2m a year and will run for seven years, with the option to extend for a further three years, which the CCG and the local council say is in line with their current spending on community services.

Dr Ian Orpen, clinical chair of the CCG, added: “We have listened carefully to what local people had to say and we have a very good understanding of the improvements they would like to see.

“Virgin Care’s proposal means that services can be better co-ordinated and people will be supported to access all the services that can help them improve their health and wellbeing.”

The major deal follows a two-year engagement and consultation programme with local staff and residents in order to pinpoint the priorities for health and care services delivered outside of hospitals and GP practices. This included the involvement of over 50 community champions and subject matter experts tasked with evaluating Virgin and its contender, Sirona Care & Health.

Cllr Vic Pritchard, cabinet member for adult social care and health at the Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “People told us they want more care delivered closer to home so services will be organised around GP practices providing access to a wider range of health and care professionals in people’s communities.

“They also asked us to join up services and information so that it’s easier for different professionals to work together to coordinate care. Virgin Care will enable this to happen by bringing people’s health and care records into one secure place.”

Under Virgin’s oversight, the CCG said it will become easier for different health and care professionals to work more closely together and deliver better outcomes.

Subject to further assessment and a full business case to be presented at the council and CCG board meetings on 9 and 10 November, the two bodies expect to award the contract in November. There will then be a five-month transition period, as well as three months of “intensive testing and discussions”, before services transfer entirely on 1 April next year.

The council and the CCG will also include a clause in the contract which requires any financial surplus made by Virgin to be reinvested into services in the region.

Earlier this year, the private giant also beat local competition from three NHS foundation trust in the race to take over community services in Kent.

(Top image c. Ian Redding)


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Mike Molloy   19/08/2016 at 14:59

more shameful backdoor are a disgrace .

Paul   23/08/2016 at 09:49

£70 million a year, what a disgraceful waste of public money. I could spend that on saving lives, right now. Dr Orpen if you have a clear idea, just do it! I think you have lost the plot

Keith Lindsay-Cameron   01/09/2016 at 10:19

There is not a single thing that Virgin Care can deliver that public funding of publicly owned public services could not deliver cheaper and more efficiently.

James Fussell   01/09/2016 at 10:34

Couldn't agree more with Mr Lindsay-Cameron; a private enterprise middleman adds a layer of bureaucracy and siphons off money to shareholders which could otherwise be spent on the services to the PUBLIC!

Mary Hawking   02/09/2016 at 09:55

"They also asked us to join up services and information so that it’s easier for different professionals to work together to coordinate care. Virgin Care will enable this to happen by bringing people’s health and care records into one secure place.” There are a number of issues here:- 1. integrated care records are extremely complex: different organisations/services have different record needs, means of recording them (GPs Code), different semantics & diferent record structures. If Virgin has solved the problems, I hope they will make their solution readily available. 2. These records, if sufficiently complete to be useful for direct clinical/social management of the patient/client will contain extremely sensitive personal information, leading to IG concerns e.g. will they include the entire GP record/other health records *and* social care records including financial information 3. what is the legal position & how will Virgin be held to account for holding health information due to a purely local contract?

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