Virgin Care has abolished its partnership agreements with over 300 GPs due to concerns over the “potential conflict of interest” when these GPs take control of commissioning in April 2013.
Under the old arrangement these GPs had a 50% stake in Virgin Care partnerships (GPCos) providing services like GP surgeries, diagnostics and dermatology. If they continued with the partnership agreement then these GPs would be in a position to award themselves NHS contracts!
The news that these partnerships have been dissolved is an admission by one of the big players in NHS privatisation that the new system is potentially riddled with corruption.
In their press release Virgin say they are moving to a new business model. “As the business has grown rapidly in the last two years, we now find that far fewer of our patient contacts are seen in services run by our GPCos. With many more new service contracts set to start, this proportion will reduce significantly ....” In other words, the GPCos were a useful way for Virgin to get a foothold in the NHS but they now need to concentrate resources on taking over bigger chunks of the NHS.
Tax-dodging Virgin has won £750 million contracts with the NHS and is set to get bigger. A recent Dispatches documentary revealed how it made its profit by driving down standards.
The fact that Virgin cannot provide decent services at NHS prices is no surprise. Before the Health and Social Care Act was passed, a Department of Health report showed that the NHS was 14% more efficient than its nearest private sector rival. The only way that Virgin can make a profit on its NHS contracts is by driving down the quality of patient care. It achieves this largely through staffing cuts.
From April 2013 GPs will be handed £60 billion NHS money and will sell off large chunks of the NHS to private sector parasites like Virgin Care.
Firms like Virgin and Care UK, which have channelled thousands of pounds of donations into the Tory Party in recent years, stand to make a killing at the expense of our health and well being.
We need mass civil unrest to save the NHS!