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Four Seasons Health Care goes into administration

One of Britain's largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, has gone into administrati..

One of Britain's largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, has gone into administration.

Two of the holding companies behind the firm appointed administrators on Tuesday after struggling to repay their debts.

The group serves about 17,000 residents and patients and employs some 20,000 staff.

Four Seasons said the move would not affect care arrangements or lead to the closure of homes.

Group medical director Dr Claire Royston commented: "Today's news does not change the way we operate or how our homes are run or prompt any change for residents, families, employees and indeed suppliers.

"It marks the latest stage in the group's restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process."

According to Sky News, which first reported the news, it is the biggest collapse of a care homes business since Southern Cross in 2011.

Four Seasons has struggled with cuts to local authority care fees and rising costs, and has repeatedly warned about its long-term stability.

The GMB union said the government needed to step in urgently to reassure Four Seasons staff and residents.

Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary, said: "The possible collapse of Four Seasons shows our care system is in crisis, it is crumbling beneath us because the funding isn't there."

Four Seasons said it had appointed professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to handle the administration.

While the holding companies – Elli Finance (UK) and Elli Investments – are in administration, the operating companies that run Four Season homes are not.

The group said it had secured funding to ensure continuity of care while it seeks a new owner.

Four Seasons, which has 322 residential and nursing care homes, has been struggling to restructure its debt pile of more than £500m.

Terra Firma Capital Partners, the private equity firm led by Guy Hands, bought the group in 2012 for £825m but has since seen a £450m writedown on its investment.

It has also ceded control of the group to US hedge fund H/2 Capital Partners, which holds a large amount of its debt.

A number of care businesses have run into trouble recently, raising questions about the current funding model for social care.

Last year, Allied Healthcare, which supports 13,000 people, said it was struggling with debts, blaming low fees paid by councils.

The Care Quality Commission, a regulator, later issued a notice saying it had serious doubts about the firm's future.

A majority of Four Seasons' operations are funded by the state, with about a fifth of them funded privately.

Analysis: Colletta Smith, consumer affairs correspondent

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Four Seasons Health Care goes into administration

One of Britain's largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, has gone into administrati..

One of Britain's largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, has gone into administration.

Two of the holding companies behind the firm appointed administrators on Tuesday after struggling to repay their debts.

The group serves about 17,000 residents and patients and employs some 20,000 staff.

Four Seasons said the move would not affect care arrangements or lead to the closure of homes.

Group medical director Dr Claire Royston commented: "Today's news does not change the way we operate or how our homes are run or prompt any change for residents, families, employees and indeed suppliers.

"It marks the latest stage in the group's restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process."

According to Sky News, which first reported the news, it is the biggest collapse of a care homes business since Southern Cross in 2011.

Four Seasons has struggled with cuts to local authority care fees and rising costs, and has repeatedly warned about its long-term stability.

The GMB union said the government needed to step in urgently to reassure Four Seasons staff and residents.

Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary, said: "The possible collapse of Four Seasons shows our care system is in crisis, it is crumbling beneath us because the funding isn't there." (more…)

Continue Reading

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I lost my arms and legs – stop it happening to others

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his fac..

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his face removed has called for mandatory training on sepsis for NHS staff.

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Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

Continue Reading

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Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a serious complication of an infection, which can have devastating consequences if not treated quickly.

There were delays in spotting Tom Ray's sepsis.

He says a commitment is needed to avoid more tragedies.

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Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

Continue Reading

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NHS ‘should not prescribe acne drug’

The parents of young people who have killed themselves and patients unable to have sex are calling f..

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Ed Henthorn said it had caused him erectile dysfunction, psychosis and suicidal thoughts.

And one man who believes his son killed himself after taking the drug said the risks "are just too high".

Manufacturer Roche said "millions of patients worldwide have benefited from taking the drug".

The majority of those who take the drug have a positive experience.

'Pretty overwhelming'

"I used to think about girls… but my feelings, thoughts, just faded away," Ed Henthorn told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

He was 19 when he took Roaccutane. He describes his acne as mild but bad enough to want to treat.

After three weeks he started to experience side-effects, including reduced energy and sex drive.

Then he experienced erectile dysfunction.

"That was why I decided to stop taking it," he said. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending