Can we seriously trust Virgin Care with the ill health of our most vulnerable children? Bristol’s CCG thinks we can!1
August 14, 2015 by Protect Our NHS
Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have announced that they have shortlisted two preferred bidders for the interim contract to run the Children’s Community Health Services for Bristol and South Gloucester. One is group made up of 2 social enterprises and an NHS provider and the other is Virgin Care.
How dare the CCG invite in sharks such as Virgin to feed off the ill health of our most vulnerable children!
Join the Campaign to Protect Children’s Community Health Services: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectCCHP
Children’s community health services are currently run by the North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT). NBT no longer wish to run the service and when their contract ends in April 2016 the Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group will have to commission a new provider to run the service for one year. This one year contract is called the ‘interim contract’. After this, they will be negotiating a five year contract, about which they may have already consulted you. The timescale for the interim contract is very tight – bids are currently being made by both NHS and private companies (details unknown) and the clinical commissioning group will be making a decision in September. We are concerned that interested parties, such as yourselves, may not have been informed and consulted about this process and may not have the opportunity to influence the decisions being made by the CCG on your behalf.
A similar commissioning process is underway for the NHS specialist mental health services provided at Riverside Adolescent Unit. This is a separate process, run by NHS England, which could also result in contracting out to a private provider. We are campaigning for Community Health services and Riverside to be integrated by being provided by the same organisation, and for them both to stay within the NHS.
Private companies take on NHS contracts in order to extract profit from them, that is their business. We believe health service should be for people, not for profit. The track record of private companies taking over NHS services is alarming. For example, Circle Holdings pulled out of its contract to operate Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, after running up a £7.2 m deficit and failing a Care Quality Commission inspection. In addition, contracts with private companies fragment the service. Integration of services is essential for children’s community health and this was highlighted as a key principle by patients, carers, local groups and professionals when they were consulted by the CCG last year. Services need to be part of a connected network across community, voluntary, educational and social services for children and young people. Many of these services will remain in the NHS and other public sectors, and so keeping children’s community health service and Riverside within the NHS is of the utmost importance.
What you can do to help:
- Sign and share the online petition (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-children-s-health-services-in-bristol-south-glos-from-privatisation). There are already 4000 signatures so let’s keep it going.
- Like the Facebook page and follow the Twitter page https://www.facebook.com/ProtectCCHP https://twitter.com/protectcchp
- Publicise and attend the lunchtime protest at the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
Wednesday August 26th, 12.30 – 1.0pm. Assemble at the Bearpit (St James Barton roundabout), central Bristol, and walk very short distance to Bristol CCG offices at South Plaza, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NX. Please bring colourful placards, banners, fun costumes and lots of passion.
- Contact your local councillors & MP. Please contact your local elected representatives and ask them to join the campaign and let their views be known to the CCG.