Worry over care home fi­nances

IF AL­LIED HEALTH­CARE RUNS OUT OF MONEY VUL­NER­A­BLE PEO­PLE ACROSS LON­DON COULD LOSE SUP­PORT

Uxbridge Gazette - - News -

A COM­PANY which pro­vides in­valu­able home care for the el­derly and vul­ner­a­ble across nu­mer­ous Lon­don bor­oughs is at risk of not be­ing able to de­liver its ser­vices af­ter the end of Novem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion.

The prob­lems be­came clear when Al­lied Health­care re­struc­tured its debts ear­lier this year with a Com­pany Vol­un­tary Ar­range­ment, blam­ing a “chal­leng­ing” en­vi­ron­ment for the so­cial care sec­tor.

Bor­oughs in­clud­ing Hilling­don, Eal­ing and Wandsworth com­mis­sion ser­vices from the com­pany.

An­drea Sut­cliffe CBE, chief in­spec­tor of adult so­cial care at the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion (CQC), ex­plained she and her col­leagues have been mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

She said: “Al­lied Health­care has been able to con­firm fund­ing un­til Novem­ber 30, 2018.

“How­ever, we have not re­ceived ad­e­quate as­sur­ance that the com­pany has, or will have, the on­go­ing fund­ing or new in­vest­ment nec­es­sary to en­sure the busi­ness can op­er­ate be­yond this date.

“We have en­cour­aged Al­lied Health­care to pro­vide us with a re­al­is­tic fi­nan­cially backed plan to sup­port the fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity of the busi­ness, and given them ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to do so, but they have failed to pro­vide ad­e­quate as­sur­ance re­gard­ing fu­ture fund­ing.”

The CQC wrote to all 84 coun­cils that have a con­tract with Al­lied Health­care for home care ser­vices, in­clud­ing Wandsworth, Eal­ing and Hilling­don.

A Wandsworth Coun­cil spokesman said: “We are aware of the lat­est sit­u­a­tion with this com­pany hav­ing been for­mally no­ti­fied by the CQC at the start of last week.

“There were sim­i­lar warn­ings from the reg­u­la­tor ear­lier this year and so we have been mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion since then and work­ing closely with the com­pany to en­sure that the small num­ber of peo­ple in Wandsworth who re­ceive their ser­vices con­tinue to re­ceive safe, ap­pro­pri­ate and high qual­ity care, and we have con­tin­gency ar­range­ments in place if th­ese are re­quired.”

A state­ment is­sued by Al­lied Health­care blasted the CQC’s warn­ings as “pre­ma­ture and un­war­ranted”.

It reads: “We have demon­strated through­out our dis­cus­sions with the reg­u­la­tor that Al­lied Health­care’s op­er­a­tions are sus­tain­able and safe, that we have se­cured a po­ten­tial re­place­ment of our credit fa­cil­ity, that there is no risk to con­ti­nu­ity of care and that we have a long-term busi­ness plan in place that will con­tinue to de­liver qual­ity care across the UK.

“The CQC has dis­re­garded th­ese as­sur­ances in spite of the ro­bust ev­i­dence we have pro­vided.”

A Hilling­don Coun­cil spokesper­son said: “We have two peo­ple who re­ceive care pack­ages from Al­lied Health­care, or a par­ent com­pany. We have made ar­range­ments with the Al­lied and our two ser­vice users to en­sure that a safe, al­ter­na­tive pro­vi­sion will be avail­able, should it be needed.”

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