October 9, 2015 by Protect Our NHS


Sir Richard Branson

Virgin Management Limited,

The Battleship Building,

179 Harrow Rd.,

London, W2 6NB,


Dear Sir Richard,

We are pretty much the same age and for much of our adulthood I have had an element of admiration for your entrepreneurial skill and persistence when things seem to have become tough. “BA, AA: No Way” comes to mind as an enjoyable slogan indicative of your drive to set up, or get into, markets and upset the incumbents or rattle the status quo. “Good for him “ I thought and, as I am sure your people have told you, I was clearly not alone in this. You have had a carefully crafted reputation as a patriot and entrepreneur with heart and I have gone along with this.

But now I am not so sure. You see; I live in Bristol where your health group has been trying to take over children’s community health services in a bid against an NHS and community based provider as it has in Devon and elsewhere.

I find myself wondering why you would want to do this, why you would want to take over and run National Health Service provision at all? Why would you want to be part of this government’s drive to destabilise, fragment and sell off something that has supported the British people for our lifetime and, in consequence, be part of the seeming desire to return us to a pre-1948 healthcare system where decent healthcare was reserved for the affluent as it is currently in the USA?

I have read your website and your claims that you want to do things better, the Virgin way in effect, and as a piece of marketeering it all sounds very fine but what it omits to mention is that each privatisation of National Health Service provision weakens the integrity of the service as a whole, wastes millions of pounds on competitive tendering and tends to lead to a lessening of staff conditions and a consequent reduction in the quality of service to patients. Not to mention the fact that any money taken out of the service as profit is clearly money not spent on patient care, whatever arguments of efficiencies are used to justify this.

There are many ways in which folk with your undoubted business acumen could help our National Health Service become more efficient but setting out to profit from the break up and selling off of the service is not one of them and to present Virgin Healthcare as anything other is misleading to say the least.

Albeit very slowly, the UK population is waking up to the idea that our National Health Service is being stolen from us and sold on by the very people who have pledged to protect it.

I find it hard to imagine that you would want your image, the Virgin brand and associated companies to be caught on the wrong side of the growing anger and outcry at the theft of our National Health Service.

The place for business people of heart is surely on the side of the growing call for the clear and unambiguous protection of this national asset that we have paid for and therefore owned since we were kids.

I also find it hard to imagine also that you need any more money, why would you want you and your family/companies to be seen as profiting from such a betrayal of the UK population?

Yours Sincerely,

A.T. Horwood



  1. AlanB says:

    Spot on letter.I always wondered why Richard Branson doesn’t shout about Virgin Healthcare in the same way he does about his trains and phones!

    • Thanks Alan. You might also like to see our @NHSour twitter feed regarding Virgin Care’s failure to win the interim one-year contract for Bristol Children’s Community Health Services. On the Bristol CCG news today at

      • margaret mcloughlin says:

        What an Awesome letter i had no idea Branson was doing this as i thought he was a Genuin man ., i will promtly get rid of my virgin broadband i didn’t think he could stoop as low as those in the Government to take the NHS off the people that was given to the people as far as i can see greed has got to him and i am shocked no better than the rest of them one life he owns in my town is a nightmare people are dying through that as they closed our hospital that is all we have . think Mr Branson please of the people not yourself .

      • Thanks Margaret – we’ll pass this comment to the author of the letter. Mike (for Protect Our NHS)

  2. nivekd says:

    Thanks! Here in Wirral we ask the same question – especially as Virgin Care acts rather covertly behind the label ‘Peninsula Health’, a partnership of Virgin and 20 GPs, many of whose patients don’t know they are ‘Peninsula’, let alone Virgin. Their nine (but it’s hard to navigate their web site) services ‘in the community’ are all, in fact, based in one building which, by coincidence, is the practice of one GP who, until ousted, was medical director of the CCG and who now is the leading light of a ‘federation’ of GPs challenging the CCG over commissioning. The majority of GPs in the federation are – yes, you’ve guessed – also in Peninsula.

    The current contract is worth only about £2m, which a suspicious mind would say is a loss leader until the NHS is completely broken/broken up and all the low-hanging fruit can be plucked.

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“That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.” Noam Chomsky

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