Virgin Care has begun legal proceedings against against eight NHS commissioners.
The Private provider lost out on an £82 million children’s community services contract, and believes that the procurement process was unfair.
Virgin Care Services Limited thus issued court proceedings in the High Court against NHS England, Surrey County Council and the county’s six clinical commissioning groups.
This legal action follows just one month after the commission awarded the three-year contract to Surrey Healthy Children and Families Services Limited Liability Partnership.
CSH Surrey and First Community Health will also be involved in the ensuing collaboration.
On the decision to effectively sue the NHS, a spokesman for Virgin Care indicated that the company is concerned about what it perceives to be “serious flaws in the procurement process”.
“Never before have we been so concerned with the whole process that we have needed to make a challenge of this nature. This has led to an outcome that we strongly feel is not in the best interests of the children and families we support, or our valued colleagues,” the spokesman commented.
In response, a spokeswoman from Guilford and Waverley CCG stated that Virgin Care had logged their dissatisfaction with the procurement progress on 14th October 2016.
This was merely nine days after the contract was awarded to Surrey Healthy Children and Families Services Limited Liability Partnership.
“Despite the commissioning organisation’s confidence in the process and despite us sharing information to assure Virgin Care Services Limited regarding the procurement process, Virgin Care Services Limited issued court proceedings on 4 November in the High Court,” the spokeswoman on behalf of the CCG commented.
The contract will commence on the first day of April, but this legal action clearly puts a spanner in the works.
While the clinical commissioning group has been unwilling to comment further regarding the ongoing litigation, it has noted that “the commissioning organisations intend to defend the claim being brought by Virgin Care Services Limited.”
But Virgin Care believes it has been wronged by the process, and a spokesman outlined the position of the organisation.
“The commissioners have now signed a contract with the new provider and we are disappointed to be saying goodbye to our valued colleagues and the children and families we support. It is our job now to ensure we support a safe transfer on 1 April so the transition is as smooth and seamless as possible for all involved.”
Virgin Care currently provides the children’s and adult community health services in Surrey, alongside CSH Surrey and First Community Health Care.