Care firm scrambles to find new providers
Elderly across Tayside set to lose support services as Allied Healthcare faces ruin
Vulnerable elderly people across Tayside and Fife are facing “worry and uncertainty” this Christmas as a care firm which provides vital support services faces financial ruin.
Allied Healthcare has until mid-December to transfer or sell all of its services to new providers. However the company has warned its own circumstances have worsened since councils were notified of its likely failure.
It is unclear whether it will be able to offset all of its contracts to other private providers or if councils will be forced to step in under their own legal obligations.
Jim Eadie, Age Scotland’s policy officer for housing, said it was “vital” a solution is found so that older people can continue to receive the care they need in their own homes.
Dundee City Council said it was “considering the options available”, while Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said it was aware of the developments.
Vulnerable elderly people across Tayside and Fife are facing “worry and uncertainty” this Christmas as a care firm which provides vital support services nears financial ruin.
Allied Healthcare, the company contracted by the region’s local authorities to carry out domiciliary care for some of their most at-risk residents, has just weeks to transfer or sell all its services to new providers after councils were notified it is likely to fail.
The company secured a three-week extension of its credit line to continue fulfilling social care contracts across the UK, including 17 key services in Scotland, but confirmed on Monday all transfers must now be finalised by mid-December.
While the extension will see services continue beyond the previous contractual maturity date of this Friday, it is unclear whether they will all be transferred to other private providers or if councils will be forced to step in under their own legal obligations.
Jim Eadie, Age Scotland’s policy officer for housing, described the services as a lifeline “which many older people depend on in order to live at home safely and independently”.
He added: “It is vital that a solution is found so that older people can continue to receive the care they need in their own home.”
Cat Hobbs, the director of the pronationalisation We Own It campaign, predicted vulnerable people across Scotland could be affected by questions over the company’s future.
She said: “Thousands of elderly people are facing worry and uncertainty as the financial fortunes of Allied Healthcare seem to be up in the air.
“If the company runs out of cash then vital services across Scotland will be under threat.”
It is understood the notification to local authorities of Allied’s likely failure has already prompted a number of customers to transfer services to alternative providers. However, the company insisted continuity of care remains its “number one priority”.
A spokesman said: “We are actively exploring options in order to minimise disruption to continuity of care, including the sale or transition of care and support services on a regional or contract-by-contract basis to alternative providers to deliver care at a local level.
“Such sales or transitions will involve the transfer of staff, and will be conducted in close cooperation with our customers .”
Dundee City Council confirmed it had been in discussions with the company and was “considering the options to ensure continuity of service.”
Fiona McKay, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s head of strategic planning performance and commissioning, said: “We are aware of the situation with Allied Healthcare, who provide a small number of care packages on our behalf.
“We hope the company will secure a buyer and we’re in touch with Cosla to stay up to date with national arrangements.”
Perth and Kinross Council were also approached for comment.
If the company runs out of cash then vital services across Scotland will be under threat