Sir Richard Branson
I have a long standing interest in healthcare dating back to when I started the charity the Student Advisory Centre in the early 1970’s and have maintained a keen interest in improving healthcare services. I am happy to say that the Virgin Group of Companies have supported a huge range of healthcare initiatives across the world including trying to find cures for breast cancer, type two diabetes, prostate cancer and metabolic disorders. We’ve also invested in trying to help and support people with leukemia, ovarian and pancreatic cancer.
Like everyone in the UK, I am hugely proud of the NHS and our social care system and the amazing work front line staff do every day to support all of our care needs, however, I have always thought there were a number of things that could be improved.
At Virgin we began to look at how health and social care could be improved in the UK by drawing upon our experience from other parts of the Virgin family and focusing on what matters most to patients. Just like airlines and financial services, when it comes to being cared for, good service and convenience can make all of the difference.
This is why Virgin Care is committed to providing services that are designed around the needs of the end user, rather than the needs of the system, and why Virgin Care always strives to provide care good enough for our own families.
Virgin Care has sought to do this by making it easier for patients to get an appointment with a GP, by making sure practices are open later in the evening or at weekends, and provides patients with more of their care closer to home from a choice of locations where this is possible.
I also believe that prevention plays a really important role in any healthcare system and I am proud that Virgin Care works in communities across the UK to not only help people get better, but also helping them to avoid getting ill in the first place.
Virgin Care has now treated more than 3.5 million people and, while I am very proud of what Virgin Care has achieved so far and I am really excited about what the future holds.
Bart Johnson, Chief Executive
We have been providing care good enough for our own families since 2006. We say care good enough for our own families because there is no greater measure for us than whether we would be happy for our families to receive the care that we provide. This promise as well as our values run through everything that we do.
All of our services are free to people at the point of need, just like any other NHS or social care services, but we try to bring the Virgin ethos to this care by making sure that we are focusing on the patient and making the system responsive to them, rather than the other way around.
Since we started in 2006 we have achieved some really great transformations, both big and small across our services. These range from investing millions of pounds in mobile working systems that empower our community nurses and enable them to spend more time with patients, to being the first provider of NHS services to introduce a text-back system for walk in services, so patients can make better use of the time that would have otherwise been spent in a waiting room.
We believe that feedback from those using our services is the most valuable way to develop the care that we provide which is why we were the first provider in the country to ask patients whether they would recommend the care that they received to a friend or family member – something that the rest of the NHS is now beginning to do.
I’m unbelievably proud of what we’ve achieved since our journey began eight years ago and continue to be very excited about to opportunities to continue making a difference to patients and their families in the future.