The murky messaging around NHS privatisation took a turn for the weird today for Mantis when we saw this story in The Guardian today which says:
Core children’s health services in Devon may be about to be privatised in a move critics have warned is a foretaste of the breaking up of the NHS that will take place when the Government’s health and social care bill becomes law
Avoiding the issue of whether privatisation is a good idea or not, what caught our eye was the huge differences in the brands named as being in the running, namely, Virgin Care and Barnado’s.
The article goes on to mention that Barnado’s involvement in conjunction with the local Healthcare Trust hasn’t made the final cut, whereas Virgin Care has. The piece notes:
Neither of the two private companies in the Devon bids has experience of running specialist children’s health services for the NHS.
Usually, the first thing you try and do when you’re asked to pitch for new business is find out a little about your competitors if you can. But how would an organisation like Barnado’s stack up against Virgin Care? Such different brands! To the man in the street – one has deep experience on many levels of caring for children, and is a registered Charity, and the other also sells train travel, wine, gyms and holidays. So, in the background, some fascinating messaging work must be being done by all concerned.
I’d love to know more about the real capabilities of each organisation to do this vitally important job. I hope there is a good program of education for the public, especially the parents of Devon, when the winning bid is chosen, to maintain public faith in children’s health services.