October 9, 2015 by Protect Our NHS
OPEN LETTER TO SIR RICHARD BRANSON FROM A PROTECT OUR NHS SUPPORTER
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?