Care home take-overs fuel instability

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, is today warning that the trading of residential care homes brings instability into the care of the elderly. The warning comes in the wake of the multi-million pound takeover of 445 care homes by a private equity firm, Terra Firma from Four Seasons Health Care.

The poor care of elderly residents in some private care homes has been widely publicised and the union is calling on the Government to tackle long-term funding for the elderly and to bring in regulation to ensure the financial viability of large corporate providers.

Helga Pile, UNISON National Officer for Social Services, said:

“It is very worrying for staff and the people they look after to find out they have been sold into the murky world of private equity.

“Private Equity takeovers are noted for looking at ways of maximising profits. The elderly care sector by contrast is woefully underfunded and cannot afford to lower the quality of care by cutting staff or depressing the training and wages of people who work in it.

“Much of this residential care is paid for by the taxpayer and they have the right to know where their money is going. The all-party Parliamentary Group on Social Care is taking evidence tomorrow from local authorities and experts and they need to make sure that precious resources are going into providing high quality care for the elderly, not into boosting private profits.”

UNISON (National News Release) – Tel: 0845 355 0845