Elderly face uncertainty as care home group Four Seasons transfers another 58 properties to new operators
Elderly residents at Four Seasons care homes face more uncertainty after the group transferred another 58 properties to new operators.
As the UK’s second largest care home operator, Four Seasons houses around 16,000 residents.
It has been breaking up its empire after its parent companies tumbled into administration last year under the weight of a £625million debt pile.
Care home operator Four Seasons has been breaking up its empire after its parent companies tumbled into administration last year under the weight of a £625m debt pile
It announced this week that 58 of its homes would be switched over to rival providers.
All of these homes are situated in properties leased from two landlords, one of which is Hollyblue, a company connected to the notorious US hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management.
Cerberus has previously been branded a ‘hound of hell’ by MPs for its role in buying household debt from banks and wringing borrowers for repayment.
Four Seasons entered into negotiations with its landlords last year with the aim of pushing them to lower their rents.
An independent report into its leasehold estate found that a majority of the landlords were charging above market rent.
But the landlords have been unwilling to bow to the demands of Four Seasons and its administrators, which has led to the group simply handing the homes over to rival operators.
Former pensions minister Baroness Altmann has raised concerns the Care Quality Commission, which regulates care home providers, has insufficient powers to judge whether these new operators have the financial firepower to run the homes.
She said: ‘Every time you pass on ownership to a new party it increases the risk to elderly residents.’
Rachel Harrison, national officer for the GMB union, said: ‘This is yet another care catastrophe on this Government’s watch.’
The group’s chairman Allan Hayward said: ‘Our top priority is to maintain continuity of care for our residents and patients by minimising the impact on them, their families and our colleagues.’