William Eichler 25 October 2019

Failure of £350m Four Seasons deal proof social care is not ‘properly’ funded

Failure of £350m Four Seasons deal proof social care is not ‘properly’ funded  image

The failure to sell the struggling social care provider, Four Seasons, is further proof that the Government is not funding social care properly, union says.

Britain’s second-largest care home provider was due to sell 185 freehold properties to H/2 Capital, the US hedge fund that is its principal creditor.

However, the £350m deal fell through because ‘certain conditions’ were not met on both sides.

The public sector union, UNISON, pointed to the failed sale as evidence that the Government is not investing in social care.

‘The Government is failing to fund social care properly,’ said UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea.

‘The absence of a proper strategy for the sector means the lives of thousands of vulnerable patients and staff are at the mercy of private companies motivated by profit, rather than providing quality care.’

Ms McAnea said that the prime minister was distracted by Brexit.

‘This complete inertia has left the country’s second largest residential care provider in administration for months. Today’s failure to secure a buyer leaves residents and staff fearful for their futures,’ she said.

According to a survey published in June by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services’ (ADASS), adult social care directors in councils across England have had to find £7bn of savings since 2010.

This has had a negative impact on the social care system with home care closures affecting 7,019 people in 2018/19, up from 3,290 in 2017/18, and care home closures affecting 1,173 people in 2018/19, down from 2,095 people in 2017/18.

‘Every minute of every day, heroic care staff are making an essential difference to the lives of the people they look after. Many receive great care and support throughout and to the end of their lives,’ said ADASS president Julie Ogley.

‘Sadly however, as this budget survey shows, we are still desperately lacking the sustainable, long-term funding needed to provide vital services that will support people to live as independently and healthily as possible’

‘Without ministerial action and substantial investment, care homes will continue to be prey to private equity firms and hedge funds, which excel at extracting profit from those in need,’ said UNISON’s Ms McAnea.

‘The welfare of the vulnerable, the elderly and the workforce must be protected with more public sector provision of care, especially as the situation would get much worse with the economic chaos of a no-deal Brexit.’

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Looked After Children and Vulnerable Young People

Enfield London Borough Council
Up to £89,319
 This is an exciting opportunity to lead all the services that support Enfield’s children in care and care leavers. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Head of Communities

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
to £61,751 (pay award pending)
We are looking for an innovative and knowledgeable senior professional to join our leadership team with strong experience of working in communities... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Economic Development Officer (Town Centres)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878 per annum
The Economic Development Officer (Town Centres) post forms part of the Council’s Business Focus team who provide help directly to businesses. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Educational Psychologist

Camden London Borough Council
£44,131 - £53,34
The ideal candidates will have an excellent understanding of psychological frameworks and their application in... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878
Are you interested in a challenge and want to help shape the future of North West Leicestershire? Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue