COMMERCIAL: Virgin Care has won a contract to manage comprehensive primary care services for prisoners at HMP Bullingdon, in a deal worth £6.6m to the private provider over three years.

Under the deal, the 50-strong healthcare team at the Oxfordshire prison has been transferred to Virgin from former provider Oxford Health Foundation Trust, a spokesman for the company said.

He added that the contract was worth £6.6m to Virgin over three years, and there was an option to extend the contract by a further two years after that.

The company said in a statement that existing terms and conditions had been maintained for transferred staff.

The deal brings the number of prisons where Virgin provides primary healthcare to five. The other four are HMP Coldingly, HMP Send, HMP Downview and HMP Highdown.

The Virgin Care statement added: “Following a robust and transparent tendering process, Virgin Care demonstrated its ability to provide the new service delivering a range of nurse-led primary health care services, aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of patients serving their sentences at the community training prison.”

The company plans to introduce changes that will allow prisoners to be treated closer to their cells, to minimise the costs of moving patients around within the prison.

NHS England offender health commissioner Liz Gainer said: “We are pleased to be working with Virgin Care, which has demonstrated its ability and commitment to provide safe, high quality healthcare and treatment to patients at HMP Bullingdon.”