The UK’s largest care home provider, HC-One, has warned that a decline in occupancy and higher costs has left it struggling to meet loan repayments.
In its latest financial accounts the care home operator said if the current worst predictions on occupancy and payroll costs proved correct there would be a “significant impact” on its profitability and cashflows and it would require bank support on deferring loan repayments.
The provider added: “The directors consider the specific downside scenario impact of Covid-19 on the group’s occupancy levels and cash flows to be so significant that it represents a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the group’s . . . ability to continue as a going concern.”
The Guardian has reported that HC-One has asked councils to continue paying it at 90% occupancy rates after modelling predicted that its occupancy would reduce from 90% to 70% by July.
It reported HC-One has lost 637 residents and three care workers with COVID-19 symptoms with its current death rate three times higher last year and its highest on record.
Thirty residents and 27 staff members have tested positive for the virus at the company’s Home Farm care home on the Isle of Skye. Two residents have sadly passed away.
An HC-One spokesman said: “Whilst a number of colleagues are away unwell or self-isolating, we have had the team members required to safely care for all residents with additional support being drawn from our other Scottish homes and the senior regional team.
“We are proud of our colleagues and their courage in rising to the coronavirus outbreak by showing huge dedication and commitment to our residents. We are providing round-the-clock support for all our teams, and we are also grateful to relatives for their ongoing support and understanding.”