Brighton and Hove care home operator prompts fresh concern

Posted On 16 Nov 2011 at 1:46 am

Fresh concerns have been raised about a company that runs care homes in Brighton and Hove.

According to The Sun newspaper, leading figures in social services are worried about Four Seasons Health Care.

The newspaper said yesterday (Tuesday 15 November): “A confidential report commissioned by social services chiefs said that Four Seasons Health Care has a ‘precarious financial model’.

“And it claimed that officials may ‘want to actively plan for a worst case scenario’ over the next 14 months to three years.”

Four Seasons said that it was in “good financial health”, the newspaper reported.

The concerns come after Four Seasons recently took over 140 care homes from Southern Cross, which went bust.

A care home in Hove – Bon Accord in New Church Road – was among the Southern Cross homes to be transferred to Four Seasons.

The company also runs Dane House in Dyke Road Avenue, Brighton.

£750m debt

The Sun said: “The report will raise yet more worries about the chaos in Britain’s care home sector.

“Its biggest concern is Four Seasons’ £750 million debt, which needs to be refinanced by September next year.”

It quoted the report as saying: “It can only be described as being high risk in the short to medium term.

“It has twice gone to the brink in negotiations where a ‘fire sale’ of the business was considered.”

The Sun said that Four Seasons employs 25,000 staff and has 20,000 residents.

And it quoted a spokesman for the care home operator saying that it was worth £950 million – more than its debts.

The other former Southern Cross home in Hove – The Downs in Laburnum Avenue in Hangleton – has been taken over by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

On Monday Denise D’Souza, director of adult social care at Brighton and Hove City Council, gave a brief update on the changed ownership of the homes to councillors, colleagues and health officials.

She was speaking at a meeting of the Joint Commissioning Board, which oversees joint working by council and health service staff and related contracts.

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