YOUR VIEW: Readers mixed on Lancashire County Council's health contract deal with Virgin
A Lancashire County Council decision to award a Â£104m healthcare contract to the private sector instead of the NHS has sparked a storm of protest online.
Earlier this week it was reported Richard Branson’s Virgin Care had beaten Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust in the tendering process to run the county’s 0-19 Healthy Child Programme for the next five years.
The decision was slammed by critics, including leading Labour councillors on the county council, as “privatisation by the back door.”
Online the story reached thousands of readers, was shared hundreds of times and attracted dozens of comments for and against the decision.
Here’s what you had to say about it...
It’s been happening for a long time no one will stand up to the government and say stop. Let’s get the NHS back to the people. We pay into this and in the next 10 years we will all have to take extra insurance out on top of what we pay.”George Thorneycroft
Hardly by the back door as Virgin already has several heathcare contracts and most trusts outsource loads of their services anyway. And maybe it’s not such a bad thing. At least with people who have business experience in charge we might not see the huge levels of waste the NHS is full of.”Phil Oddie
It’s very true, the Tories are quietly issuing private contracts out to private health companies, undermining public care... It’ll be Virgin care soon, not the NHS!”Lindsay Catterall
New Labour may have started the privatisation process but that isn’t the same political ideology as the current Labour Party. What is important is that the privatisation of services doesn’t work and this needs to end.”Lee Holding
Virgin Care took over services in Surrey. They lost the contract for a variety of reasons, one being the poor levels of service. Anyway, they sued the NHS and have been awarded Â£328K as a settlement.”David Spencer
Labour seem to forget they introduced privatisation of the NHS.”Mark Wilson
Running a health service for profit will never end well for the service users.”Michael Brown
Its a sad day for the NHS & becoming all to common.”Debbie Eyles
As a tax payer I expect them to get the best deal for us - good choice.”James Deluce
I enjoyed my time with Virgin Care. Everything was smoother, cleaner and friendlier.”Johannes Christian von Voges
The real problem the NHS has is its very poor management, top executives paying themselves too much and is inefficiency that is leading to this. I have had treatment with the private companies through the NHS system and every time it has been a much more efficient.”Dale Green