Probe starts into Four Seasons collapse

UK politicians have begun to ask probing questions of Government social care policy, following yesterday’s collapse of the Four Seasons care home business.

Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Judith Jolly said: “Another social care crisis in unfolding on the Tories watch as they repeatedly delay confronting the funding and structural problems in social care.

“Questions must now be answered by the Conservative Government as to how such a major care home group could have gone into administration, potentially putting at risk thousands of people’s care and thousands of jobs.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: “This will be a deeply worrying time for hundreds of Four Seasons residents and staff. People’s jobs and people’s care is being put at risk. Both Conservative and SNP governments have repeatedly delayed confronting the funding and structural problems in social care. This is further evidence that the contemporary model of social care in a care home setting is in fundamental need of a rethink.

Social Democrat and Labour Party Member of the Legislative Assembly (NI) Dolores Kelly said:
“The Department of Health set this trajectory during the mid-90s when they disregarded the need for future planning by taking the decision to close down statutory care homes in Northern Ireland.

It has long been understood that the privatisation of our care homes is an unsustainable model and requires urgent action by the Department.”

In addition, King’s Fund senior fellow Simon Bottery said: “The problems facing Four Seasons show the extreme pressure that the social care system in England is under. Despite recent moves to shore up social care providers, years of chronic underfunding have left services at crisis point. As the Competition and Markets Authority has identified, many care homes that rely on publicly-funded residents are now financially unsustainable.

‘It is not just care homes but the whole social care system which desperately needs reform. Successive administrations have promised to overhaul the system, yet two years after the government committed to publishing a social care green paper, it is yet to see the light of day.’

  • A House of Commons briefing paper sets out the administration announcement, an overview of the Four Seasons Health Care Group and of Terra Firm’s ownership and regulatory oversight and local authorities’ duties following a business failure (England only)

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