Funding has been found to prop up more than 300 care homes as Four Seasons Health Care enters administration.
Two holding companies, Elli Investments and Elli Finance, have gone into administration while a funding agreement has been reached for the operating companies that run the care homes and hospitals until the group is sold.
Group medical director of Four Seasons, Dr Claire Royston, said: ‘Today’s news does not change the way we operate or how our homes are run or prompt any change for residents, families, employees and indeed suppliers.
'Our priority remains to deliver consistently good care.
'It marks the latest stage in the group’s restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process.’
The group, which runs 322 homes, has been in the process of a sale since December, having struggled with financial difficulties for some time.
It follows Allied Healthcare’s near-collapse before it was sold shortly before Christmas.
Director of policy and influencing at charity Independent Age, George McNamara, said the announcement was a 'symptom of a neglected and broken social care system’.
He added: ‘This is turning upside down the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable people in society.
'While private providers can walk away it is families and local authorities who are left to pick up the pieces, causing worry and anxiety about meeting the care needs of older people.
‘We can’t escape the fact that the two years that Government has dithered and delayed over social care reform means that older people are every day bearing the brunt of Government inaction.’