Three thousand five hundred workers and seventeen hundred vulnerable and elderly persons in Northern Ireland face threat as company enters administration
Questions must be asked about role of private sector in the provision of social care and how the NHS here became so dependent on one company in particular
Unite Regional Officer, Kevin McAdam, with special responsibility for his union’s membership in the health and social care sectors, demanded urgent intervention by the Department of Health to take over the operation of fifty-five nursing homes across Northern Ireland in light of news that owners, Four Seasons, had collapsed into administration.
“The news that Four Seasons has entered administration casts huge uncertainties over the future of fifty-five nursing homes that this company operates in Northern Ireland. Approximately three and a half thousand staff work in these homes who will be left fearful for their job security. More than seventeen hundred vulnerable and older clients, and their families, will also be left under a cloud of uncertainty about the future of their care provision.
“The collapse of Four Seasons is only the latest instance of private sector failure in our public services; most particularly in the provision and quality of social care. While many will be left rightfully questioning why Northern Ireland’s social care system has been allowed to become so dependent on one provider, the more important question is really why anyone thought that the private sector had any positive role to play in the provision of social care in the first place.
“Despite the mammoth difficulties involved, the Department of Health has been left with the responsibility for these care homes, the staff and the clients. The Department must intervene and nationalise these nursing homes so as to operate them as an integral part of our health and social care service”, Mr McAdam concluded.
Re Nolan show 1/5/19 well done and thank you Kevin for speaking out for re-nationalising care homes. You said what thousands of us care home and domiciliary care users have been struggling to have heard for many years. You have got the situation exactly right and which the others on the show including Nolan (who seems to have been told to continually say ‘some excellent private care homes’) failed miserably to do and is example why HSC is the disaster presently is.
It is never mentioned that the Western Trust has leased and is running Drumclay care home in Enniskillen. However it is only for a year but shows renationalising can be done and should be rolled out. Privatisation has destroyed our HSC. Please resist government/taxpayers money being pumped into private care companies. All it does is feed the lavish life styles of the owners and care does not improve. You will have the figures for the profits made by private care home companies and that is after they have taken their millions of pounds each year for their own salaries and bonuses. Privatisation and care is conflict of interest. Please do not be silenced or warned off. This is what seems to happen to those who speak out against privatisation.
Published in a national daily newspaper on 29th April 2019. How true.
‘Meanwhile, in the private sector, nursing home managers claim they are struggling as a result of factors including having to pay higher wages after former chancellor George Osborne’s introduction of the national living wage.
This is a shabby excuse. The truth is that the private equity cowboys who rode into the care sector in the hope of making big profits have concluded that what once looked like an easy money-making venture is no longer profitable.’