Leading care home operator HC-One has announced the sale of 52 care homes and closure of four services.
The plans, which HC-One said were being made in order to better meet the current and future care needs of local communities, also include refurbishing 200 care homes as well as a new build programme that saw the opening of its first York service this year and a further two care homes in Bingham and Telford.
James Tugendhat, HC-One’s Chief Executive, (pictured) said: “As we plan how best to use our resources to continuously improve our care homes, we are determined to invest where we can have the greatest impact and more effectively ready ourselves for the evolving needs of those we care for.
“As a result, we are putting 52 of our homes up for sale in areas where we feel our communities would be better served by a local operator in conjunction with other local services. We are also proposing to close four homes. In both cases, we will work closely with our local partners and commissioners.”
The care home operator said the sales and closures would only happen when it was convinced it had found the “right alternative operator” and residents were able to move safely. HC-One added it would be providing “all possible” support for colleagues affected.
The announcement as meet with an angry response from the GMB Union which said it would leave thousands of key workers in limbo.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “The Government has failed to deal with the problems in the social care system over years with the COVID pandemic revealing the yawning cracks in the system from years of Government neglect.”
“This announcement from one our biggest social care providers is having to sell off and transfer care homes during the biggest public health crisis in all our lifetimes just shows how broken the current system is – maybe even on the verge of collapse.”
“The appalling lack of Government strategy has led to thousands more staff and residents facing another crisis, with their futures uncertain while providers try and move the deck chairs and paper over the cracks in the absence of a plan.
“Government Ministers have promised reform, calling for better integration with our health and public services, but we need more than just words and a promise of bringing forward reforms in the far-off future we need the details of the plan and action now.
“For starters we’re calling for these homes to be brought under local authority control and the Chancellor in the Budget on Wednesday to announce the funding needed to cover the transition costs while we wait for a plan for social care.
“GMB members and residents in HC-One are now waiting to hear what their future is. Never before has a properly funded National Care Service been so important.”
Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, told CHP: “We are aware of the developments with HC-One and remain in regular contact. We have been assured by HC-One that there will be no break in the continuity of care for people in care at these locations.”