Thousands of Elderly At Risk As Home Care Provider Faces Financial Difficulties - RightsInfo

Thousands of Elderly At Risk As Home Care Provider Faces Financial Difficulties

England’s care regulator has written to 84 local authorities to warn that thousands of elderly and vulnerable people face losing social care services because a company providing home care is in financial trouble. 

The Care Quality Commission has expressed concerns that Allied Healthcare may not be able to operate and deliver home care services to up to 9300 elderly and vulnerable people, after November 30.

The company provides services, such as help washing and dressing, to more than 13,000 people across the UK.

The Care Quality Commission is responsible for health and social care in England and has written to local authorities to stress they are legally required to step in if services are disrupted.

Andrea Sutcliffe Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said: “Allied Healthcare has been able to confirm funding until 30 November 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 consider there to be a credible risk of service disruption.

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC

“It is now CQC’s legal duty to notify those local authorities where Allied Healthcare is contracted to deliver home care services, that we consider there to be a credible risk of service disruption.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure continuity of care for everyone using an adult social care service

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC

“We are doing this now to give local authorities as much time as possible to plan for maintaining continuity of care for people relying upon services from this provider, should this be required. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure continuity of care for everyone using an adult social care service in the event that it ceases to operate.”

The potential collapse of will not only threaten home care services to 13,000 people but could also mean the loss of thousands of jobs.

Allied Healthcare, expressed disappointment in the CQC’s statements and insists it is able to continue its care services. A spokesperson said: “We are surprised and deeply disappointed by CQC Market Oversight’s decision, which we regard as premature and unwarranted.

“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.

“By issuing a Stage 6 notification, the CQC is putting significant pressure on already stretched and pressurised local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.

“Continuity of quality care is our number one priority. We will continue to provide the services entrusted to Allied Healthcare and will work closely with all commissioners of care throughout this period.”

Why Care For The Elderly is a Human Rights Issue

Image via Unsplash / rawpixel

Older people, like all of us, are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998.

In extreme cases, the lack of adequate health and social care for older people can result in human rights abuses.

For example, inadequate care arrangements may result in people being treated with a lack of dignity and privacy. This can lead to rights, protected under the Human Rights Acts, being violated such as right to respect for private life (Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention) and the prohibition on inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3 of the Human Rights Convention).

Currently Age UK estimates that 1.4 million older people do not have access to the care and support they need.

A report by Age UK earlier this year highlighted how in the past two years, the number of older people living with an unmet care need has risen by almost 20 per cent, to nearly one in seven older people. 

The fact that the largest provider of home care in the UK is at risk of being unable to provide services, will raise concerns that many more elderly people will face unmet care needs, and that there will be another winter crisis in health and social care.

Ministers ‘Whistling In The Wind’ As Calls For Overhaul of Social Care System Grows

the decision to change abortion law rests with the heath secretaryMinister for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock Credit: Flickr Number 10

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, accused the government of ‘whistling in the wind’ as ‘social care burns’ and called for ministers to fully grasp the gravity of the situation.

She said: “Earlier this week the Department of Health and Social Care published a vision for prevention which has been widely welcomed, but for as long as our social care system is in such a precarious state Ministers are whistling in the wind in setting out plans for a positive future.”

The Social Care Green Paper is now more than a year overdue… Meanwhile social care continues to burn.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK

“The Social Care Green Paper is now more than a year overdue and the extra funding for care in last week’s Budget was welcome but nowhere near enough. Meanwhile social care continues to burn.”

We urgently need the Government to grasp how grave the situation facing social care now is and respond

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK

“We urgently need the Government to grasp how grave the situation facing social care now is and respond with the funding and reforms required to tackle it. Workforce shortages and grossly inadequate funding are undermining the quality as well as the availability of care and older and disabled people and their families are paying an increasingly heavy price.”

Simon Bottery, from healthcare think tank, The King’s Fund, highlighted the anxiety and stress service users face following the CQC’s announcements and has also called for significant reform of the social care system.

He said: “Over 13,000 people who rely on Allied Healthcare for care and support will be wondering what today’s warning from the CQC means for them.” 
 
“Local Authorities have a legal duty to ensure continuity of care for service-users and will be working hard on contingency plans with regulators and care providers, but this does not take away from the anxiety and disruption they and their families will be experiencing.

‘The problems faced by Allied Healthcare are a symptom of the huge pressures facing a social care system which is at breaking point after years of under-funding.

Simon Bottery, The King’s Fund

‘The problems faced by Allied Healthcare are a symptom of the huge pressures facing a social care system which is at breaking point after years of under-funding. The additional funding announced by the government in the Budget offers some short-term relief but is another sticking plaster when radical reform is needed.

Bottery also warned that there are other care providers facing financial difficulties and called for an overhaul of the social care system. “Allied Healthcare are not the only major care provider experiencing financial problems.

“Their difficulties are yet another wake-up call to the huge problems in social care. The government’s forthcoming social care Green Paper cannot shy away from fundamental reform of a system that is patently not working.”

An Allied Healthcare spokesperson said. “We are surprised and deeply disappointed by CQC Market Oversight’s decision, which we regard as premature and unwarranted.

“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.

“By issuing a Stage 6 notification, the CQC is putting significant pressure on already stretched and pressurised local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.

“Continuity of quality care is our number one priority. We will continue to provide the services entrusted to Allied Healthcare and will work closely with all commissioners of care throughout this period.”

Featured image via Unsplash / rawpixel

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Rahul Verma

News Editor
Rahul is Rights Info's News and Social Media Editor. He is an experienced reporter and editor covering the under-represented, arts and culture and migrant communities, and has worked for national newspapers, youth media projects and creative agencies. He is hugely passionate about social justice, equality and a fairer world. To email Rahul, drop him a line. View all posts by Rahul Verma.
Thousands of Elderly At Risk As Home Care Provider Faces Financial Difficulties
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