Billionaire’s hospital take over welcomed

Town councillors have backed multi- billionaire Richard Branson’s bid to take on contracts at Whitby Hospital.

Virgin Healthcare is one of two firms that have been shortlisted to put forward bids in an attempt to win the contract to provide out of hours healthcare in Whitby.

The Clinical Commissioning Group is in the process of scrutinising the bids and are set to make a decision over the next few months.

At last Tuesday’s there was some concern over the transport mogul’s involvement but others say it means more money will be coming to Whitby.

Cllr Simon Parkes said: “There will be an awful lot of money going into Whitby if Virgin get it.

“They will see more money coming in than if they did otherwise.

“He will only get the bigger hospital contracts if he does a good job with Whitby.”

Cllr Phil Trumper added: “We shouldn’t be concerned if Richard Branson does get the contract. It is the quality of care that it important - not who runs it.”

It was resolved that the commissioning group will be asked to attend a future meeting of the town council to update members on the process.

Meanwhile health bosses have announced that community nursing care is going to be extended to 24/7 cover from Monday.

Staff from the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will provide a personalised healthcare programme to people in their own homes in a bid to reduce admissions to hospitals or nursing homes.