The care home provider, Four Seasons, has announced the holding companies which carry its debt have gone into administration.

Four Seasons has over 250 care homes and is one of the UK’s largest care providers. It cares for over 13,000 people in care homes all over the UK, with a large proportion of its residents being state funded.

The group has appointed Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP as joint administrators to Four Seasons’ holding companies Elli Investments Limited and Elli Finance (UK) Plc.

Four Seasons Health Care Group Medical Director Dr Claire Royston said it was business as usual: “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.

“Our priority remains to deliver consistently good care. It marks the latest stage in the Group’s restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process.”

The group expects to complete the sale of its care homes by the end of the year and has entered into a funding agreement which will ensure continuity of care for residents while the sale takes place.

Elli Investments Limited and Elli Finance (UK) Plc Joint Administrator Richard Fleming said his company was committed to ensuring the group delivers continuity of care. He said: “The Group has continued to improve its quality ratings across their portfolio of homes and hospitals. The Group’s operations are fundamentally strong and a successful sales process will enhance those operations’ ability to thrive.”

Back in 2016, Ian Smith, who since stepped down as Four Seasons Chairman, warned that the care provider was struggling financially due to less state funding for social care, which was impacting on the amount paid by local authorities for a resident’s care. He said: “We need politicians to start getting their act together. I am embarrassed to be British at the state of our health and social care.”

Shadow Social Care and Mental Health Minister Barbara Keeley blamed the collapse of Four Seasons on “the inevitable consequence of years of underfunding by the Conservative Government”.

Alzheimer’s Society Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships Sally Copley said the potential impact of this news was another sign of a system under extreme pressure. She asked: “How many more signs are needed, how much longer must people with dementia and their families enduring crippling costs and appalling care?”

She added: “12,000 people living with dementia rely on Four Seasons to be their home and lifeline, with the cost of their care reaching an estimated nearly £450 million a year. The social care crisis is a dementia crisis; 70% of people in care homes have dementia. This precarious financial situation is going to cause a great deal of worry and doubt, adding to the many desperate stories we hear about through our Fix Dementia Care campaign.

“People with dementia have a right to much better than this — two further years of delay awaiting a Green Paper has to come to an end.”

Last reviewed 7 May 2019