Vulnerable residents in Derbyshire and Derby are among nearly 10,000 deemed “at risk” of losing support due to funding fears at one of the UK’s largest home care providers.
This week, watchdog the Care and Quality Commission, which monitors care providers, stated that there was a “credible risk of service disruption” for people looked after by Allied Healthcare, which has a base at Pride Park in Derby.
The firm provides assistance to the elderly, children, and people with mental health and learning disabilities, physical ailments and substance abuse problems.
It has 80 bases across the UK and this news will affect 84 English councils, 8,000 employees and 9,300 vulnerable clients.
At least 18 clients in Derbyshire could lose their home care support, with the figure for Derby itself remaining unknown.
The CQC said that after “closely monitoring the situation and assessing the future viability of the company” it found that the firm could only confirm funding until November 30 this year, with inadequate assurance that the company “has, or will have, the ongoing funding or new investment necessary to ensure the business can operate beyond this date”.
A spokesperson for Allied Healthcare has said that “robust” evidence had been provided and that it was “surprised” and “deeply disappointed” at the CQC’s announcement.
Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC, said: “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.
“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.
“I understand this is a very unsettling time for everyone who uses Allied Healthcare’s services, their families and loved ones, and staff.
“We will continue to work closely with Allied Healthcare and all of our partners – the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and NHS England (NHSE) so they can inform the organisations responsible for commissioning people’s care – to make sure appropriate action is being taken in the interests of people’s continuity of care if this proves necessary.
“It is of course possible that the company is able to avoid service disruption, and if that is the case, we will revise our position accordingly.”
In Derbyshire, the firm’s services include help to manage personal care, assistance with household tasks, cooking, shopping, cleaning, getting out and about and socialising.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’re fully aware of the situation with Allied Healthcare which currently looks after 19 clients in Derbyshire.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely and will be working with the company’s clients to ensure they are fully supported.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Derby City Council said: “There is very limited impact on Derby City Council in light of the Allied Healthcare news.
“As a local authority, we always have teams on standby in case of situations like this.”
By Eddie Bisknell – Local Democracy Reporter