The NHS has paid an undisclosed settlement to Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Care after the threat of legal action.
Branson’s Virgin Care started High Court proceedings against NHS England last year after the private healthcare group lost its bid to provide children’s services in Surrey.
In November 2016, Virgin Care sued six Surrey clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and Surrey County Council after the three-year £82 million healthcare deal was awarded to a group of in-house NHS providers and a social enterprise.
The Labour Party say it is ‘scandalous’ that the NHS was forced to face legal action from Virgin Care and called for the Department of Health to disclose further details on the settlement.
Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary, said: ‘It is scandalous that NHS money is being wasted on fighting off legal bids from private companies.
‘Ministers need to make clear how much public money has been used in this case – at the least it seems to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.
‘That is money that could be being used for NHS patients who are waiting longer than ever for routine services.’
Branson’s Virgin Care Services claim there were ‘serious flaws in the procurement process’, which prompted ‘concerns’.
In a statement, Virgin Care and lead commissioner Guildford and Waverley CCG said: ‘The parties are pleased to confirm that an agreed resolution on the litigation concerning the Surrey children’s procurement has been reached to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties with detailed terms confidential to the parties.’
A paper, published by Surrey Downs, stated that its liability for the case was £328,000 – though it was later removed, with a CCG spokesperson adding, ‘the level of detail should not have been included in the report’.