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Virgin to run school nurses in Dorset

Virgin Care is set to take over school nursing services in part of Dorset, under a multi-million pound contract to run a medical centre.

NHS Dorset has named the company as its preferred provider of services at Lyme Regis medical centre.

If the contract is finalised, as is likely, Virgin Care will be responsible for running a range of services including general practice, school nursing, nursing home beds and mental health care, as well as podiatry and physiotherapy.

The contract is worth between £5m and £8.5m over five years. NHS Dorset confirmed 15 community nurses would be transferring to Virgin but was unable to provide Nursing Times with a figure for mental health nurses.

Virgin Care chief executive Bart Johnson said: “We are delighted to be working with NHS Dorset and look forward to making a real difference to patient care in Lyme Regis.

“We have a strong track record of providing NHS care. Since 2006, we have treated over two and a half million patients offering improved accessibility, convenience, satisfaction and, most importantly, our services have delivered improved health outcomes – all at a better rate for the taxpayer.”

Readers' comments (21)

  • RIP NHS it has started

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  • this is the tip of the iceberg

    what a great way to run the nhs, cameron must be so proud that private companies profits are being put before patients health

    roll on 2015 lets get this shower of crap out and hopefully start to get our nhs back...saying that though the tories will make sure these companies have water tight contracts so they will be protected..

    it will be full steam ahead to privatise as much as they can before the general election in case they dont get in

    the railways were privatised look what happened there people died because these companies would not spend money on the infrastructure otherwise profits would of been down

    so have people to DIE before they realise what a mistake this is going to be

    oh and I carnt wait until we all need private healthcare like the usa so be prepared if you get say cancer you will have to re-mortage your house to pay for your treatment

    I hope all you who voted in these idiots are proud of yourself!!!!!!!

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 28-Sep-2012 10:07 am
    'so have people to DIE before they realise what a mistake this is going to be'

    Sadly, very sadly i think you are right.

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  • “We have a strong track record of providing NHS care. Since 2006, we have treated over two and a half million patients offering improved accessibility, convenience, satisfaction and, most importantly, our services have delivered improved health outcomes – all at a better rate for the taxpayer.”

    We know this has been going on for years, this is another confirmation that it has accelerated over the last couple years. I wonder if most of their patients were electives + low risk referrals, hence all their successes with a quick turnover. Businesses are in it to make money. With an ageing population they'll soon have a captive market running hotels with medical facilities attached.
    We'll pay for it one way or another :(

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  • tinkerbell

    andy | 28-Sep-2012 10:41 am

    if you cherry pick the easy option you get more bang for your buck.

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  • I think what everyone is failing to see here are the opportunities. The NHS is a business and as such has to maintain a profit margin each year. It is the fourth largest employer in the world and the costs implied from that reflect the need to franchise.

    The nurses they have employed are just like the rest of us, sensible, wanting the best for their patients and hopefully hard working. If BUPA had set this up you would all be saying "So What". Because it is a newer business in the Health market every one is up in arms.

    Grow up people, the NHS is downsizing staff, freezing wages and looking to make us work longer for less money. A private company might be prepared to pay more and give us a bit of a fair deal for what we do.

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  • re-above

    hello david cameron, hows things

    are you enjoying destroying our nhs and the country come to think of it...well done you must be so proud!!!

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  • tinkerbell

    'Democracy will scarcely get a look in. People can't choose if services are contracted out. Once contracts are signed, nothing can change. You can throw out rascally councillors or governments, but the contracts will go on regardless. Like PFIs, they will be traded as financial instruments, sliced and diced according to risk and sold on. This sets a nuclear bomb under all public services, because there can never be any going back. If you don't like the sound of this, Cameron's government can be voted out but it will be virtually impossible to return services to a public realm that no longer exists. Ownership of the contracts and companies moves on, and the public sector loses any capacity to take them back' Polly Toynbee

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  • tinkerbell

    'Comment is free but the facts are sacred' - CP Scott.

    Come back when you have done a little bit more homework on the matter in hand, then you might be taken seriously.You have misrepresented the facts on so many levels, firstly that the NHS as was, was a business.

    This isn't just about NHS nurses -v- private nurses, we're all nurses.

    This is about society changing values and profit margins discriminating against those who can't afford private health care. These values were hard fought and hard won so we would have a democratic compassionate society that treated everyone equally, regardless of status, income, race, creed or colour.

    I think you have missed the bigger picture or maybe you are just a wind up merchant and we are taking the bait.

    Either way, grow up yourself as you put it.

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  • tinkerbell




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    sorry have posted my lottery numbers by mistake, for some reason it won't stop posting them, but anyway just wanted to clarify that a ? should have followed 'was a business?' Really?

    Mind you if my numbers come up i'll be like the tories and not need the NHS. No rather not win in that case.







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  • Yes, the NHS is like a business, to be ran efficiently for benefits of patients / clients and can still look after its staff. We've had a DH model for health + social care for years, the pyramid based on healthcare promotion + education at the base and tertiary provisions at the top. This was based / modified on the Kaiser Permanente's model. This also comes with a mirroring pyramid (upside-down) to highlight cost required per person. I think KP's argument was either to make money from those requiring services at the top, or for them to avoid paying for them.
    There are opportunities, which will be eagerly taken on by financially motivated groups, mostly for the benefit of themselves, directors and shareholders. A good company looking after its staff isn't a private / public issue, that's down to that organization. An example is that most private pension schemes are not as good as they should be , but they don't talk about their own gold plate ones which not surprisingly reserved for people at the top while we will get fools-gold plated pensions. Money can be made at all levels + walks of life, from the living and dying.
    Having worked in a private and NHS hospitals, my limited observations has shown me that clinical + medical care to be of similarly high standards, and yes mostly the same consultants, anaesthetists + nurses. The main difference I noticed was the housekeeping is higher when being treated privately. The total cost of treatment was probably fair, which could have been picked up by the NHS, insurance, private health schemes or by the individual. As staff I had to account for everything I used, eg gloves, aprons, urine dipsticks, blood glucose testing, dressings, etc to ensure we maintained adequate stocks and correct accounting. If everyone, staff + public, were more aware of real costs involved, we will realise how much it all cost now. If prevention is better than cure, then why hasn't the powers that be, pushed + enforced promotion, prevention (tough rehab if required) measures, rather than hammering frontline staff. is it that we're lowest paid + most numerous. Numbers = Votes. Wished some of my colleagues DID rather than TALK.

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  • Once all the reforms, which will probably take years to fully implement, I wonder what the actual benefits to patients on the receiving end of these privatised health services will be. Once the government who failed to take heed of the warnings of the experts working on the front line realise that their scheme is a failure how easy will it be to implement new reforms to reverse this whole process or make the necessary amendments (although those who suffer as a result or lose their life any amends will come too late).


    I am not so sure about younger generations, but I believe many of the older ones were constantly told from a very young age the importance of the value of money. We were also told that there were a lot of things little children didn't understand but would do so when they were grown up.

    It just strikes me that Cameron and his buddies never learned the lessons about the value of money. The probably never needed to and still this comprehension appears to be beyond their grasp. I just wonder when they are going to grow up, wake up and understand. I fear when this happens it will all be too late as far as health and social care and welfare are concerned, after defence of our country, the most important items on their agenda.

    These guys were employed to serve the British taxpayers and public, their basic needs and their country as a whole but they seem to have absolutely no clue what this actually means and how they are expected to go about this or even show the least curiosity in going about finding out what the British think or what their actual needs are and especially when it comes to something as vital as their health.




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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 28-Sep-2012 11:12 am

    There is a question, about whether the NHS can be as efficient (care per pound put in) as a private organisation - in theory, I don't see why it cannot be as efficient.

    If the NHS can equal a non-NHS provider in terms of efficiency, then the question becomes 'care per pound spent' - so the NHS would be providing more care per pound spent, if any profit was being withdrawn by the non NHS organisation.

    And for a non-profit and also non-NHS organisation, the profit issue disappears - but there are still outstanding issues about 'joined-up behaviour', because even within the NHS, sensible joined-up behaviour seems often to be sadly lacking: much more difficult to achieve, one imagines, if you fragment the provider organisations.

    Cherry-picking, is clearly where most for-profit providers will try to start - and something any sane goverment (so, perhaps not this one) would try to make impossible. And, going back to the breast implants problem, if non-NHS are to be allowed to treat, then they MUST be made to pick up all of the associated costs when things go wrong.

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  • are Virgin the ones runninng ex Mrs Lanlsley's GP practice - Shepperton but the sites on her and where she works seem to have disappeared.

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  • tinkerbell

    The public sector is not a business – it was set up to serve the whole community; it was not required to make a profit, to break even or show a good return for investors.

    The NHS was established to ensure people received the best medical care irrespective of their circumstances because good health care was considered a right not a privilege or something that had to be earned.- Blair McPherson from 'Equipping Managers for an Uncertain Future

    There has been an awful lot of waste in the NHS and financial mismanagement no doubt about it but although it could have been managed in a more 'businesslike' manner, its founding principles were never meant to be a profit making business emphasising profits before patients.

    The NHS is being eroded and downgraded, only 51% of NHS patients will be able to use some hospitals which were once publicly owned as 49% are for private patients. This number will probably increase given a choice between a fee paying private patient and an NHS patient waiting at the back door if profits rule. If they are prepared to treat the NHS workforce so shabbily then how low will they go when it comes to NHS patient care and choice?

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  • Anonymous | 28-Sep-2012 11:12 am

    not everyone can afford private health care

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  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 29-Sep-2012 7:11 pm

    I agree with you - some Tories seem not to.

    'not everyone can afford private health care'

    QUITE !!!

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  • everybody who pays taxes could afford private health if the system was set up correctly and those who cannot would have to receive social help. it is either payment through tax or payment through comprehensive insurance - not both! it works everywhere else so if the NHS is disbanded, which is highly unlikely, it would have to work in the UK as well.

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  • re-anon 1 oct 2012 4.43pm

    are you a banker!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous | 1-Oct-2012 8:37 pm

    re-anon 1 oct 2012 4.43pm

    are you a banker!!!!!!!!!!

    why do you ask?

    and what if I am, or am not?

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