Virgin Care has gained preferred bidder status to run a three-year children’s services contract drawn up by NHS Devon and Devon County Council.
It means that after a period of due diligence, Virgin Care will be responsible for frontline children’s and young people’s services including physical, sensory and learning disability services, emotional health and wellbeing services and public health nursing.
Devon Partnership Trust with Barnado's, Young Devon and Interserve, and Serco with Cornwall Partnership Trust were among the other bidders for the £44 million per year contract.
The children and young people affected will continue to be cared for by existing health and social care staff in Devon, who will transfer to Virgin Care with existing terms and conditions maintained.
Rebecca Harriott, director of commissioning development at NHS Devon, said: “We know that these are important and sensitive services and it is vital to ensure that everyone can be confident that a winning bidder is able to deliver the best possible outcomes for children and young people across Devon.
“That is why we have been so careful to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the evaluation process including young people, parents and carers and professionals such as GPs and head teachers.”
A spokesman for Virgin Care, said: “A wide range of health, education and social care professionals as well as children and young people who understand and use these services have been involved in coming to this decision and we look forward to working in partnership with NHS Devon, Devon County Council and other local partners to ensure that children, young people and their families in Devon continue to be supported to make decisions about their own lives.”