Saturday 17th February 2018,
North Yorks Enquirer

EXCUSIVE: Virgin Pulls Out Of Whitby Hospital Deal

September 24, 2015 Misc

Virgin Pulls Out Of Whitby Hospital Deal

The North Yorks Enquirer has been made privy to an email (shared by an NHS administrator), confirming that negotatiations have broken down in the deal to secure service provision by Virgin Care for Whitby Hospital.

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Hambleton, Richmondshire & Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG), who hold the local NHS purse-strings, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Care have been unable to conclude a deal acceptable to both parties. It is understood that Virgin felt that the deal on the table would not be economically sustainable over time.

Which begs the question; is the NHS itself under-funded or about to become under-funded?

Our source speculated that Humber NHS Foundation Trust, presently operational in N Lincolnshire, Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire (originally the second-place bidder), may now be approached to take up the challenge.

Given the severity of cuts being visited upon the sector, it is difficult to imagine that a deal will be finalised in the near future.

From 2006, central government has been promulgating the Nicholson Challenge – to make a year-on-year saving of £20billion, by 2015. But this has now been extended, with no specified target date (i.e. until at least the 2020 elections, and thereafter if the Tories are re-elected).

Is this why Virgin has walked away from Whitby Hospital?

UP-DATE 25th September 2015

The CCG has published the following statement:

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG (HRW CCG) have announced that discussions with the preferred bidder to provide Community and Out of Hours Services in Whitby and the surrounding areas have been unsuccessful.

Virgin Care was appointed as preferred bidder in February 2015 after the CCG undertook a competitive tender process.

Following months of discussions, both HRW CCG and Virgin Care are disappointed that the contract was unable to proceed.

The CCG has made the decision to offer the contract to the reserve bidder, Humber NHS Foundation Trust. A voluntary standstill period will apply before the contract is confirmed which will expire at midnight 6th October 2015.

The CCG would like to assure the local population that this decision will not affect the plans to redevelop Whitby Hospital. Newcastle-based architects Medical Architecture have recently been appointed to transform the building and an engagement exercise is beginning for members of the public to express their views.

Dr Vicky Pleydell, Chief Clinical Officer at HRW CCG said:

“Following a lengthy due-diligence process, the CCG and Virgin Care have made the difficult decision to conclude discussions to provide Community and Out of Hours Services in Whitby and the surrounding areas.

The CCG have therefore taken the decision to appoint Humber NHS Foundation Trust as preferred bidder. They met all key contract requirements and also demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring the local community will benefit from enhanced, high quality services.

We appreciate that this has been a long and difficult process for staff and are very much focused on ensuring any concerns are raised and heard. We have already assured staff that services will continue and expressed our appreciation for their professionalism during this process and ensuring patient care has not been affected. Next week, the CCG Fit 4 the Future team will be on site speaking with staff and patients, directly.

We would like to thank Virgin Care for their interest in our services. The CCG are delighted at the prospect of working with Humber NHS Foundation Trust on Community and Out of Hours Services and regard them as key strategic partners in the redevelopment and redesign of Whitby Hospital.” 

David Hill, Chief Executive of Humber NHS Foundation Trust said: “Having submitted a high quality proposal to provide services for the community of Whitby and the surrounding areas, we look forward to working in a new partnership and a new area. Not only are we delighted to be transforming community and out of hours services, we are very much looking forward to working with Medical Architecture in the redesign of Whitby Hospital.

“We know that we offer high quality services and we are particularly excited about working with the existing clinical teams to make the best use of their knowledge and skills to ensure a seamless transfer of services.”

The CCG are currently working closely with the existing provider to ensure services continue and that patient care remains the top priority.

– ENDS –

For further information contact NHS Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Support’s Communications Team on 0300 303 8394

Notes to editors:

HRW CCG is working with NHS Property Services who will be the new owners of the hospital building once it transfers from York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The CCG is bound by European law to advertise contracts and open up the process to all interested and competent organisations.

The contract value is in the region of £6million per annum.

The contract being awarded is for seven years to allow stability for the local community and for the successful party to deliver improvements in the quality of services provided.

As per TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) regulations and NHS terms and conditions any new provider has a duty to transfer existing staff under their current terms and conditions.

The CCG’s key commission intentions include:

  • Promote better integration of health and social care to reduce duplication and support better health outcomes through new partnerships.
  • Ensure the Minor Injuries Unit and Out of Hours GP services are better integrated.
  • Reduce patient length of stay in hospital and support better discharge planning.
  • Provide local access to a range of diagnostic services.
  • Work more closely with GP practices and adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to care planning.
  • Deliver improvements in the quality of care through the wider adoption of technology.
  • Reduce the need for patients to travel outside of Whitby.
  • Improve access to General Practice and promote partnership working.
  • Continue to develop local mental health services.
  • Work closely with local charities and the voluntary sector.
  • Ensure a strong workforce is in place.

Related Reading:

http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/local/branson-brand-taking-on-local-healthcare-1-7152964

http://nyenquirer.uk/robert-goodwill-mp-gilding-the-tory-lily/

http://nyenquirer.uk/can-we-trust-the-york-teaching-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust/

 

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