The UK’s largest care provider HC-One which runs 328 care homes for an estimated 14,000 residents, has revealed it is putting 52 of them up for sale and is planning to close four.
The announced plans the company says are to “better meet the current and future care needs of the communities it serves, recognising evolving care needs, including the growing demand for more complex care and dementia care.”
James Tugendhat, HC-One’s Chief Executive, said:
“Our purpose, as The Kind Care Company, is to support those in our care to lead their best life, and serve at the heart of each of our communities.
“We strive to be the first choice for our families, our Colleagues and our commissioners, and best meet the evolving care needs of the country, including the growing demand for more complex care and dementia care.
“As we plan how best to use our resources to continuously improve our care homes, we are determined to invest where we can have the greatest impact and more effectively ready ourselves for the evolving needs of those we care for.
“As a result, we are putting 52 of our homes up for sale in areas where we feel our communities would be better served by a local operator in conjunction with other local services. We are also proposing to close four homes. In both cases, we will work closely with our local partners and commissioners.
“Whilst we have chosen to make this announcement now, having determined our investment priorities, our sales and the four closures will only happen when we are convinced that we have found the right alternative operator, and when Residents are able to safely move to their new care placement, ensuring continuity of care throughout the pandemic. We will also be providing all possible support to our Colleagues to make these processes as smooth as possible for them. It will be business as usual for every home until all these processes are complete.
“In conjunction, we are investing in refurbishing over 200 of our care homes. This is in addition to our new build programme, which most recently involved opening our first care home in York, Mossdale Residence, at the start of 2021, with a further two new care homes set to open soon, one in Bingham and one in Telford.”
Responding to the announcement Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, Founder & Chairman Advinia Health Care said: “HC-One won’t be the only operator to exit the local authority market if things continue as they are. When local authorities are paying less than £700 per week per bed, this creates huge pressure. Now we have a new CQC Market Oversight guidance system which has the potential to increase business failures with fees as low as they are. The funding model has to change. Care homes are a key part of the solution to public health challenges, and the aging population. The country can ill afford another Southern Cross.”