Virgin Care Agrees Community Health Contract in Wiltshire

The Virgin Care company and its owner Richard Branson have recently secured a contract to provide community child health services in Wiltshire.

As a result of the £64 million contract, Virgin Care will become the single provider in the region.

Following the completion of the deal, the private healthcare company will take over delivery of the services from the existing public sector providers.

Community child care services in that region where previously provided by three NHS trusts, a social enterprise and a borough council.

Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust is one of the current providers of children’s services in the area.

Community child health services in Wiltshire currently include children’s specialist community nursing, health visiting and speech and language therapy.

Aside from Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust, Salisbury Foundation Trust, Royal United Hospital Foundation Trust, Swindon Borough Council and the social enterprise Sirona Care and Health CIC were all involved in the delivery of services in the region.

The central ethos of this new contract is to create an overarching service.

This is intended to clamp down on any form of variance in the way that service models and pathways are delivered in Wiltshire.

With Virgin Care having been named as the winner of the five-year contract, the private company will begin operating in the area in April next year.

The annual value of this deal is £12.8 million, with the arrangement set to run through until 2021.

Although shifting from five providers to one will provide logistical challenges for the delivery of services in the region, commissioners are optimistic about the decision that has been made.

Commissioners said that the new contract would provide patients with “consistent and equitable levels of service and support regardless of where they live in the county”.

Staff working for the existing service will be transferred to Virgin Care under transfer of undertakings; regulations intended to achieve protection of employment.

Commenting on the decision to award voting the contract, Jayne Carroll, Virgin Care’s regional director, was enthusiastic about the prospect for delivering child health services in Wiltshire.

“We are really excited to be working alongside a great team to provide a truly Wiltshire focused service that has been shaped by the people who use it and is focused on delivering outstanding outcomes for children and young people in Wiltshire.”

Virgin Care was also in the running for a children’s community services contract in Bristol and south Gloucestershire. The bid sparked anti-privatisation protests in Bristol.

A consortium of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, Sirona Care and Health and Bristol Community Health CIC was named as preferred bidder for the contract last month.


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