Virgin branches out into GP healthcare4th March 2010
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has made a dramatic move into the UK general practice sector.
Virgin Healthcare Holdings has acquired a majority shareholding in Assura Medical Limited which provides services in partnership with GPs.
These include a number of GP-led health centres and polyclinics across the country.
Assura had made losses of £4.5m in its medical division and the buyout sees Virgin arrive in the NHS market with a shift in care to private providers.
Sir Richard said: “Healthcare is a sector that the Virgin Group has been extremely interested in entering for some time, but we have always said that the partner and the timing had to be right – with Assura we believe we have found the perfect partner.
“The Assura Medical business is underpinned by a passion for patients, a strong focus for delivering quality and safe health outcomes and a commitment to work in partnership with those who deliver healthcare.
"I am excited that Virgin and Assura will continue to develop this business, working alongside our NHS partners, to bring excellent, high-quality services right to the heart of patients’ communities.”
Virgin has secured a 75.1% share-holding in Assura Medical and its chief executive Richard Burrell will join the board of Virgin Healthcare as part of the deal.
Virgin Healthcare had announced in September 2008 that it was shelving its plans to launch into general practice on the back of the economic downturn but with the latest deal, it now looks set to become a key private provider for the NHS.
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Title: Virgin branches out into GP healthcare
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 14261
Date Added: 4th Mar 2010