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Richard Branson’s NHS entry encounters legal challenge

Written on:October 5, 2023
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The opposition to privatisation of the NHS has been building up in the UK

Sir Richard Branson’s foray into the NHS via his Virgin Care Ltd could be halted next week as his bid to administer children’s health and social care services in Devon is challenged at the High Court.

Lawyers representing a mother, whose handicapped kids utilise the health and social care services in Devon, are requesting a judicial review of the decision, adopted in July this year, to name Virgin Care Ltd as the chosen bidder to manage Devon’s integrated children’s services. This wholly controversial decision was implemented by the Devon County Council and by the NHS Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Primary Care Trusts collection.

The judicial review has been urged on the grounds that the council and the trusts failed to evaluate meticulously the impact of their decision on vulnerable young people dependent on the NHS services. Their decision permits the private sector into the NHS, which could have critical repercussions, which may damage the patients’ welfare.

Virgin defeated two other bids to obtain the combined children’s services contract of Devon. The three-year contract, worth £132m, is to run all main children’s services like mental health care, school nursing and services for handicapped children.

In the application for judicial review, lawyers will argue the health and council chiefs didn’t execute an impact evaluation as mandated by the Equality Act 2010.

The Devon PCT cluster has, nonetheless, always voiced that the handover of responsibility to Virgin Care Ltd would have nil impact on patients as it is only a change of management.

Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson mentioned on Wednesday during a Reuters interview that the US drug policy was racist, was a war against black people and caused the incarceration of disproportionate African-Americans. Richard Branson, a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, has propagated a new approach, which requests governments to regard addiction as an ailment and not as a crime. Education and treatment can reduce drug abuse.

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