Care leaders have given their reactions to yesterday’s news that Four Seasons had appointed administrators at its two holding companies.
The leading care home provider revealed Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP had been chosen to handle the administration of its holding companies, Elli Investments Ltd and Elli Finance (UK) plc, which carry its £500m plus debt in a move designed to expedite the sale of its operational business (see BREAKING NEWS: Administrators appointed at Four Seasons’ holding companies).
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said: “The first thing to say is that we very much hope the situation is stabilised soon. The top priority is the 17,000 clients and their families and we hope their care can be assured.
“Similarly, we feel for the 20,000 staff and very much hope their futures can be secured.”
Mike said the Four Seasons’ situation reflected a crisis affecting providers across the care home spectrum and called upon the government to come up with a rescue package for the sector in its much delayed Green Paper.
Debbie Westhead, interim Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said: “The Care Quality Commission remains clear that people using any adult social care service, their families and carers, need to have confidence that the provider will ensure good quality care which can be sustained into the future.
“CQC’s Market Oversight function is fully aware of today’s developments and will continue to closely monitor the position.
“Our Market Oversight regulatory responsibility is to advise local authorities if we believe that there will be likely service cessation as a result of likely business failure. We do not believe this to be the case at this time.
“We will continue to keep this under review and remain in regular contact with Four Seasons Health Care throughout this process.”
Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, added: “The possible collapse of Four Seasons shows our care system is in crisis, it is crumbling beneath us because the funding isn’t there.
“Lack of funding in the care sector is putting the profession – and all of our futures – in serious danger.
“Instead of wasting all their time bickering over Brexit, the Conservatives must pledge to step in and make sure Four Seasons facilities continue to operate and give tens of thousands and workers and residents the reassurance they need.”
Nadra Ahmed, OBE, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association (NCA), said that it was important to note that the operational arm of Four Seasons remained stable, adding that the provider’s situation was “not a total surprise”.
She added: “This exemplifies the fact that there is a real urgency to create a sustainable and robust solution to the funding of long term care. It need politicians of all persuasions to stop politicking and come together to take a definitive step collectively to ensure that we have a care system fit for the future. Last year we say 101 care providers shut their doors – but because they were smaller services it did not hit the headlines, however, the impact on the people they care for was the same.
“The delay in the publication of the Green Paper to look at this is only one component of the debate that needs to take place and it really is time for a more transparent and fair look at social care and its importance in the community we live in today and to plan for the future.”