Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said: “Allied Healthcare announced its intention to apply for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in April this year to restructure its debts.
“Through CQC’s Market Oversight function, we have been closely monitoring the situation and assessing the future viability of the company’s plans to determine whether continuity of care can be maintained for people who are receiving home care services from this provider.
“Allied Healthcare has been able to confirm funding until 30 November 2018. However, we have not received adequate assurance that the company has, or will have, the ongoing funding or new investment necessary to ensure the business can operate beyond this date. We have encouraged Allied Healthcare to provide us with a realistic financially backed plan to support the future sustainability of the business, and given them every opportunity to do so, but they have failed to provide adequate assurance regarding future funding.
“It is now CQC’s legal duty to notify those local authorities where Allied Healthcare is contracted to deliver home care services, that we consider there to be a credible risk of service disruption. We are doing this now to give local authorities as much time as possible to plan for maintaining continuity of care for people relying upon services from this provider, should this be required. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure continuity of care for everyone using an adult social care service in the event that it ceases to operate.
“On Monday 5 November, we wrote directly to all 84 local authorities affected to advise them of this situation.
“I understand this is a very unsettling time for everyone who uses Allied Healthcare’s services, their families and loved ones, and staff. We will continue to work closely with Allied Healthcare and all of our partners – the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and NHS England (NHSE) so they can inform the organisations responsible for commissioning people’s care – to make sure appropriate action is being taken in the interests of people’s continuity of care if this proves necessary. It is of course possible that the company is able to avoid service disruption, and if that is the case, we will revise our position accordingly.”
Responding to today’s update, Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:
“Over 13,000 people who rely on Allied Healthcare for care and support will be wondering what today’s warning from the CQC means for them.
“Local Authorities have a legal duty to ensure continuity of care for service-users and will be working hard on contingency plans with regulators and care providers, but this does not take away from the anxiety and disruption they and their families will be experiencing.
“The problems faced by Allied Healthcare are a symptom of the huge pressures facing a social care system which is at breaking point after years of under-funding. The additional funding announced by the government in the Budget offers some short-term relief but is another sticking plaster when radical reform is needed.
“Allied Healthcare are not the only major care provider experiencing financial problems. Their difficulties are yet another wake-up call to the huge problems in social care. The government’s forthcoming social care green paper cannot shy away from fundamental reform of a system that is patently not working.”