Virgin Care has been confirmed as the prime provider of community health and social care services in Bath and North East Somerset from 2 April 2017, following a vote by B&NES Council on 10 November 2016.
B&NES Lib Dems opposed the decision. However the contract was approved with 35 Conservative and independent Councillors voting in favour and 22 Lib Dems and other Councillors against, in a recorded vote.
Councillor Tim Ball (Twerton), who is the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Health and Wellbeing in B&NES, commented:
“The Lib Dems did not feel able to support this bid in tonight’s vote.”
“We recognise the enormous challenge facing public health and social care services. We also recognise that the consultation process has been criticised and there has been widespread concern and opposition since the preferred bidder was announced. For example, many B&NES residents have expressed a preference for a local provider rather than a private company. Concerns have also been expressed that the proposed provider does not have a track record in some areas of care and also that other important services are not within the scope of the contract.”
“This is a £700 million contract which covers the next seven to ten years. We should take the time to get this right. As things stand, there are many outstanding questions, including the impact on staff.”
Lib Dem Group Leader, Councillor Dine Romero (Southdown), added:
“It is a shame that the Conservative Cabinet were unwilling to allow further scrutiny of the bid before a final decision.”