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Home care giant Four Seasons goes into administration

One of Britain’s largest care home groups has gone into administration, putting its 17,000 residents and 22,000 jobs at risk.

Two of the holding companies behind Four Seasons Health Care have appointed administrators after struggling to repay and restructure its debts of more than £500m and its rescue talks failing.

But the group’s medical director, Claire Royston, said she “wanted to reassure people that that (the administration) doesn’t change anything of our residents, their families or our colleagues.”

“It marks the latest stage in the group's restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process.”

The Four Seasons has repeatedly warned about its long-term stability and has struggled with cuts to local government care fees and rising costs.

Private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners bought the group in 2012 for £825m but has since written off £450m on its investment.

The GMB union has urged the government to step in to reassure Four Seasons staff and residents as “the company looks on the brink of going bust.”

This is the biggest care home to have gone into administration since Southern Cross in 2011, although Allied Healthcare reported it was also struggling with a funding crisis last year and was seeking to transfer or sell its home care contracts.

Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary, said: “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.

“But instead of taking action, this Government keeps kicking the Green Paper on social care into the long grass.”

Azam said the government must pledge to step in and make sure Four Seasons facilities continue to operate and give tens of thousands of workers and residents “the reassurance they need.”

Royston said the workers who provide the care and work in the firm’s homes remain the same, and that nothing was changing in terms of how its care homes are run.

Image credit -  Dean Mitchell


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