HC-One has announced the retirement of its founder, chairman and former chief executive Dr Chai Patel.
Dr Patel founded the care home operator in 2011 and will continue to be an active investor and substantial stakeholder in the company following his retirement on October 31.
Initially running 241 care homes and employing 14,000 staff, HC-One has grown to become the largest elderly care provider in the UK, now operating 329 care homes and employing over 23,000 staff today.
HC-One said it intends to fill the Chairman role with an experienced UK-based non-executive chairman.
Dr Patel said: “In September 2019 I will be 65 years old. It will be the right time for me and my family for me to step back from my role as Chairman in this amazing business.
“I graduated as a doctor in the summer of 1979 and in the ensuing 40 years, I have spent 35 hugely enjoyable years working in Health and Social care. Founding and leading HC-One has been the privilege of a lifetime.
“I have enjoyed having a clear mission and the honour of working with so many wonderful colleagues. The challenges have been demanding but deeply fulfilling.
He added that the transformation of its failed Southern Cross brand and creation of HC-One had been the most ‘daunting’ part of his career, and thanked the “inimitable hard work, commitment, and shared values” of his colleagues in developing a culture committed to kindness.
“I founded HC-One to deliver the kindest care in the UK and I am so proud of what we have achieved. I want today to thank publicly every single member of staff with whom I have worked since 2011. Kind care depends on those who deliver it and I have been humbled by the dedication of my colleagues every day since HC-One began,” he said.
“I am sad to be leaving, but no person can carry on forever. My sadness is countered by the joy that I feel at HC-One being in an excellent place.
HC-One CEO Justin Hutchens, said of the retirement: “Dr Chai Patel has had a monumental and everlasting impact on this company, and indeed on the sector more widely in Britain.
“I joined HC-One as Chief Executive two years ago, having been inspired by Chai’s vision and commitment to drive a culture of kindness throughout the organisation.
“Chai put us on the road towards our objective of being the first-choice provider for Residents and the employer of choice for the kindest staff in every community we serve. My colleagues and I look forward over the coming months to thanking him and suitably marking his retirement.”