A County Hall decision to award a £104m healthcare contract to the private sector instead of the NHS has sparked a storm of protest in Lancashire. Richard Branson’s Virgin Care company has 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.
Today the furious Labour leader on the county council branded the decision “privatisation by the back door.” Coun Azhar Ali, who is going to London today talking to MPs about the issue, stormed: “This is a massive contract and it has major ramifications for healthcare in Lancashire. “It is a terrible blow and could have an impact on the viability of the Lancashire Care Trust.” The programme, which covers services such as school nurses and health visitors for children and young people, is worth up to £20.8m a year…..read more
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