A Tory-led council agreed Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Care could run more than 200 NHS services – and campaigners fear it is the start of the health service being sold off.
Virgin is to become the first private firm to run adult social care after winning a controversial £700million contract.
A Tory-led council last night agreed Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Care could run more than 200 NHS services.
But campaigners fear it is the start of the health service being sold off.
Cllr Eleanor Jackson said: “Make no mistake about it, what has happened here is the beginning of the privatisation of the NHS in this country.
“The Tories have let us all down and everyone should be horrified about this decision.
“Woe betide you getting ill in this area if you are old, disabled or have learning difficulties in the next seven years. It is just a horrifying decision.”
Protesters in the council chamber booed as Bath and North East Somerset councillors voted in favour of the landmark deal.
The decision was approved with 35 votes to 22. It came after a unanimously favourable vote by the council’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.
The decision has been the subject of controversy for months.
One protester who descended on the Guildhall in Bath before last night’s vote said: “This could be a huge watershed for healthcare in this country and finally realise the Tory dream of killing off the NHS once for all. We will be vocal in our outrage.”
Hundreds of campaigners, including I, Daniel Blake film director Ken Loach, marched last month against the deal.