OPINION: Beleaguered Bupa


It’s been a torrid month for care home giant Bupa after a Dispatches investigation revealed shocking evidence of care abuse at Crawfords Walk in Chester.

More bad news followed with the Beacon Edge care home in Penrith, Cumbria being rated Inadequate after inspectors found residents with unexplained bruising’ . The bad press kept coming when former Bupa nurse Susan Draper was found guilty of spraying an aerosol in a resident’s face.

Meanwhile, we revealed a takeover of Bupa’s care homes by turnaround specialist HC-One had been agreed.

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While the details of the deal are yet to emerge, it looks likely to be completed by this autumn. Given Bupa’s current problems, turning around the care culture at some of its troubled homes looks a challenge even for the man famed for rescuing Southern Cross.

The irony of the HC-One deal is that Bupa acquired some of its nursing homes from Care First, a business that grew from Court Cavendish – established by none other than Dr Patel!

The deal’s contrast with Dr Patel’s previous eye catching purchase of Helen McArdle, which boasted an Outstanding care home record second only to WCS Care, could not be greater.

Dr Patel’s strategy of rebranding Helen McArdle may have raised eyebrows considering the excellent reputation the North East provider had established but rebranding cannot come soon enough for the Bupa homes. A cosmetic makeover will be the easy part, however, stamping out care failures will be a much tougher challenge.

Tags : BupaCare Home ProfessionalHelen McArdleLee PeartOpinion
Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

1 Comment

  1. Unfortunately HC-One has also had its fair share of CQC fails plus it is a debt laden company subscribing to even more debt to buy the Bupa homes. Re-branding is not the answer as Bupa is a generally trusted brand versus HC-One which is a relative new-comer and less well known.

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