Four Seasons Healthcare has said it expects a 12-fold rise in PPE costs and drop in occupancy rates due to COVID-19 to cost £15m.
The leading care home operator, which has been undergoing a major portfolio restructuring programme after calling in administrators in April last year, told the Evening Standard the virus had impacted 60% of its homes and has recorded 490 COVID-19 related deaths.
Chief executive Jeremy Richardson said: “This is a very difficult time for everybody working in the sector. What has really struck me is the way the team has rallied around and gone above and beyond working in very difficult circumstances.
“Morale remains relatively high. It’s our job to support them at a very difficult time.”
Of the £15m estimated impact from the pandemic, Four Seasons has spent £2.5m on PPE with the remainder due to reduced occupancy and increased staffing costs.
Occupancy levels at the operator have declined to 80% as a result of the crisis with admissions having slumped by 50% during the worst of the crisis although they have recovered in recent weeks.
Staff absences peaked at around 10% during the pandemic though they have since recovered to around 7%.
An additional reliance on agency workers has contributed to a £1m rise in wage costs.
The group, meanwhile, has begun to receive offers of support from local authorities and CCGs which will cover a significant proportion of its COVID-219 costs.
The Four Seasons announcement comes after HC-One warned earlier this month that additional costs and falling occupancy rates had left it struggling to meet loan payments.