News

Private firm beats award winning social enterprise to run NHS community services

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6029 (Published 21 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6029
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

An award winning social enterprise mutual has lost out to a private company that has been named as the preferred bidder to run NHS community health services in Surrey in a deal worth between £450m (€520m; $710m) and £500m.

The primary care trust NHS Surrey has announced that Assura Medical, which is owned by Virgin, is the preferred bidder for community health services in southwest and northwest Surrey in what is likely to be one of the largest NHS contracts ever given to the independent sector.

The fellow bidder Central Surrey Health lost out despite its reputation as the government’s flagship social enterprise mutual. The other unsuccessful bidder was Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Central Surrey Health was set up in 2006 as an employee owned, not for profit organisation that provides therapy and community …

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