Private provision is fine, but spend profits on care

The Guardian reported earlier this month that NHS GPs at Virgin health centres will earn 10 per cent of the profits and went on to explore this potential conflict of interest.

Patients will struggle to accept the impartiality of the referral judgment if there is to be financial gain for the GP.

We are pursuing an option with Virgin in which any 'GP profits' are openly recorded and spent on enhancing and developing new patient services. In this way money truly 'follows the patient' and better local services for everyone result.

The NHS needs to focus more on the quality of services to patients and less on the public-private divide. If the private sector can have a role in delivering quality local services for the good of patients then so be it.

Suffolk PCT has been unable to support our ministerially approved Saxmundham Health One Stop Shop but, if the private sector is keen to get involved then that is just fine. We want better services and if the NHS will not help why should we not turn to the private sector?

Health and social care polyclinics are one facet, but the concept of a 'Virgin' midwife-led birthing unit is truly immaculate.

Dr John Havard, Saxmundham, Suffolk.


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