Thursday 12 April 2012

Tell Richard Branson … Keep Virgin profiteering out of our NHS!

WEEKEND OF ACTION APRIL 21 AND 22

 

Below are just a few reasons to oppose the way the Health Act opens up our NHS to private profits from companies like Virgin. With Richard Branson threatening to sue even the mildest critics, we need to show we won’t let him bully his way in to taking over our health service.

 

Local Keep Our NHS Public groups are asked to pick a Virgin store or Gym and organise a protest. Let us know when and where. We will have a leaflet you can use on the day. Virgin media store locator: http://shop.virginmedia.com/store-locator.html Virgin Active club finder: http://www.virginactive.co.uk/en/club-finder

 

Plans in London so far include:

Saturday 21 April

Camden & Islington 2pm Virgin store Oxford St, opposite the Plaza

Waltham Forest 1pm Virgin store Selbourne Walk Walthamstow

 

Sunday 22 April

Lewisham, Lambeth & Southwark at London marathon sponsored by Virgin

(details soon on http://www.lewishamkonp.org/)

 

Is Virgin coming to a hospital or clinic near you?

Before the new Health and Social Care Act has even come into force, Ricahrd Branson’s Virgin care have already taken over these NHS services:

  • £500million contract for community health services in South West and North West Surrey
  • Sexual Health Service for Milton Keynes
  • Dermatology service in the Isle of Wight
  • Shortlisted as potential providers of integrated children’s services in Devon (i)

Richard Branson and David Cameron “You rub my back – I’ll rub yours”

It is not surprising “Virgin Care” is doing well out of the NHS or that Branson was one of the guests at the White House when David Cameron went to dinner there last month.

  • Just before the 2010 election Richard Branson was photographed in February supporting David Cameron’s election bid. (ii)
  • A month later he bought loss-making Assura private health company for knock down price of £4m, saying Virgin had been waiting to find ”the right entry point” into the health market. (iii)
  • That acquisition of a GP provider company put Virgin in pole position to have influence in the government’s new commissioning arrangements.
  • A year later Virgin was the private health company with most links on the shadow commissioning boards.(iv)

Any criticism and Branson threatens to sue!

Richard Branson is threatening to sue the Telegraph and journalist Max Pemberton for an article critical of Virgin’s takeover of community services published this week. It is reported Branson is demanding a half page reply.  A high court injunction was served on Sunday to try to prevent the article being published. Branson is said to be unhappy too about the tweeting and using it as part of the case.  Max could face costs of up to £90,000.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/9193015/Healthy-competition-in-the-NHS-is-a-sick-joke.html

 

Links

(i) http://www.hsj.co.uk/hsj-local/pcts/devon-pct/virgin-and-serco-on-shortlist-for-devon-childrens-services/5042813.article

(ii) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251534/Sir-Richard-Branson-backs-Tory-spending-cuts.html

(iii) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f4f87ba6-26c5-11df-bd0c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1rk2DTIgV

(iv) http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/newsarticle-content/-/article_display_list/12203991/half-on-some-gp-consortium-boards-have-links-to-virgin-group

 

More information from www.keepournhspublic.com

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1 comment

  1. Catherine Williams said:

    The NHS is too precious to be put into the hands of profiteering private firms. If Virgin get involved in hiving off NHS services, I will never use/buy another Virgin product again.

    12 April 2012 at 7:18pm

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