Major payout for care home boss despite official censure
THE multi-millionaire owner of a care home that was shut down by authorities for posing a “serious risk to the life” of its patients took a payout worth up to £7m last year after profits surged.
Gordon Sanders, who started Runwood Homes 25 years ago and remains its sole owner and chief executive, was paid £5.1m worth of dividends, while the company also handed an unnamed director £2.2m, assumed to be Mr Sanders. The figures were revealed in documents filed at Companies House.
Authorities shuttered Runwood’s Ashbrooke home in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in August after an unannounced inspection found there was “a serious risk to the life, health and wellbeing of all those living [there].”
Olive Macleod, chief executive of the country’s Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, told the BBC at the time: “The patient equipment was dirty, the patients looked unkempt, their hair had not been washed, their clothes were dirty and there was a very strong odour of faeces and urine.”
Mr Sanders’ rewards are comparable to those of Britain’s business elite, with the average FTSE 100 chief executive taking home £4.5m last year, according to figures from the High Pay Centre.
The self-made entrepreneur and his family’s wealth was estimated at £193m in last year’s Sunday Times Rich List.
Essex-based Runwood, which has 67 care homes in England and Northern Ireland with around 4,000 patients, generated revenues of £130m last year.
Pre-tax profits more than doubled to £17m after the company booked £8m worth of property impairments in the year before.
The strong performance comes despite warnings the social care sector is in crisis, as providers struggle against local authority funding cuts.
A spokesman for Runwood declined to comment on Mr Sanders’ remuneration but said Ashbrooke was a recent acquisition with a “very complex service model”.
He added: “We took full responsibility for shortcomings and are humbled by the support we received from residents’ families and the dedication of staff during a difficult time. All of our homes in Northern Ireland have a clean bill of health from RQIA.”
‘The strong performance comes despite warnings that the social care sector is in crisis’