Council steps in to move services from failing home care provider

Bill Borrett. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Bill Borrett. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Norfolk County Council has stepped in to move services from one of the biggest home care providers in England after concerns were raised over its financial viability.

Allied Healthcare said on Friday that warnings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had 'negatively impacted' its operation.

The company said a number of customers had transferred services to alternative providers after the CQC had written to local authorities to notify them of their concerns.

And Norfolk County Council has confirmed it has transferred Allied Healthcare frontline staff to a subsidiary of Independence Matters, a social enterprise set up by the council to provides care.

The firm provided a range of services such as help with washing and dressing, preparing meals, and managing medication for around 150 people in Norfolk.

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Bill Borrett, chairman of Norfolk Adult Social Care Committee, said: 'What's important here is for people to be reassured that there will not be a break in their care and that through robust and creative planning, the county council has stepped up to the plate to avoid disruption. Using monies from Winter funding we can reassure people who work in the homecare sector that they will have a job.'

Allied Healthcare criticised the CQC's report and said it had 'intensified the impact of the challenging environment within which we operate and comes immediacy prior to the Christmas period, when pressures on care providers are at their highest'.

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But Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC, said: 'Allied Healthcare had every opportunity to confirm a realistic financially backed plan to support the future sustainability of its business and failed to do so.

'Therefore, while this was not a decision that we took lightly, there was a clear requirement on November 5 for CQC to do the right thing for people using services by discharging our market oversight responsibilities.

'I am glad the company is now communicating directly with everyone receiving care from its services, their staff and local commissioners to reassure and advise of their next steps.'

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