Medical contractor Virgin Care is taking legal action against the NHS because the company was not awarded an £82 million healthcare contract.
Virgin Care, which is owned by entrepreneur Richard Branson, has already been awarded several NHS contracts by the government. However, it is disputing the way that the contract procurement process was handled. It is believed that this action by Virgin Care could take a further toll on NHS finances.
The healthcare contractor is suing the NHS, six clinical commissioning groups in Surrey, and Surrey County Council. The dispute is over a children’s services contract. In October 2016, the six clinical commissioning groups from Surrey awarded the contract to Surrey Healthy Children and Families Services LLP. This contractor is a partnership between two companies and a not-for-profit NHS foundation trust. Out of the two companies, one is a social enterprise and the other is a not-for-profit provider.
According to Virgin Care, the contract allotment process was flawed and it is therefore seeking recourse in the high court.
Virgin Care was established in 2010 by parent company Virgin Group Holdings. The medical contractor has been awarded several contracts by various clinical commissioning groups across the UK. Virgin Care is currently handling approximately 250 services, and these contracts are worth more than £1 billion.
A Virgin Care spokesperson stated that the company had never witnessed this kind of contract procurement process and it was concerned about the way that the entire process was carried out.
Virgin Care has been in charge of community health services in Surrey since 2012, and the contract will expire on 31st March. However, since it has not been renewed and has been handed over to a new contractor, Virgin Care does not believe that the outcome is desirable and in the best interests of the families and children that it supports.