Connect with us

Breaking

Council axes £64m, 15-year contract with care home group

Avatar photo

Published

on

A care provider has lost a county council contract worth £64m over 15 years.

HC-One, a care provider, which had a home in Cambridgeshire closed by the national regulator, is to have its contract cancelled by Cambridgeshire County Council. 

The council has told HC-One, a provider of health and social care, that they will no longer be contracted to provide care home beds under the terms of a ‘block contract’ – worth £64million over 15 years. 

This follows the county council calling in the national regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to investigate persistent concerns about quality of care at The Elms care home in Whittlesey.

It led last month to closure of the home; one of the five which HC-One operates in Cambridgeshire. 

The CQC inspection report detailed poor performance, poor decision making and concerns regarding the standards of care at The Elms.

The ‘block contract’ arrangement involved a guaranteed payment in exchange for an agreed number of 99 beds across the company’s care homes.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Richard Howitt, chair of the adults and health committee, said: “Our action reflects how deeply disappointed we are by the poor performance of HC-One regarding The Elms”

This cancellation also means that Cambridgeshire County Council will no longer refer new residents into HC-One’s homes.

The county council says it offered to buy the affected homes from HC-One, but this offer was rejected by the company.

The county council has confirmed that this offer remains on the table. 

A council spokesperson said: “The council has provided a range of support for the HC-One care homes over a two-year period.

But regrettably they have not made sufficient improvements.

“Part of the decision to cancel the contract is to no longer guarantee payments to a care provider which cannot sustain improvements.

The council will not be making new placements with HC-One, but existing residents will be given the option of staying in the remaining three homes run by the company locally if they wish.

“The authority will continue to monitor these homes to ensure the quality of care is sustained for those residents who wish to remain, and to explore options should they wish to move,” said the spokesperson.

“The council, working with partners, residents, and families, has successfully found new homes and accommodation for the 25 residents at The Elms.

The Elms Care Home , The Elms Care Home, Whittlesey Friday 25 March 2022. Picture by Terry Harris.

“County social workers will now do this for residents at the Manor House care home near Ramsey, which HC-One have also decided to close.”

The decision not to refer at this time any new residents will affect HC-One’s remaining three care homes in Cambridgeshire – The Red House in Ramsey, The Cambridge in Chesterton, and The Gables in Whittlesey. 

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Richard Howitt, chair of the adults and health committee, said: “Our action reflects how deeply disappointed we are by the poor performance of HC-One regarding The Elms.

“We worked with the provider over a sustained period to improve the quality of care at The Elms.

“We acted quickly in calling in the regulator.

“Now we are acting quickly to ensure the provider does not continue to benefit from a substantial sum of public money, which we believe can be better spent elsewhere. 

“We have many other brilliant providers offering excellent care, so it is right that HC-One is held to account regarding its poor performance.

“It is the duty of the council to act.”

Cllr Howitt added: “I remain concerned that the company will not allow the council to take over the homes, which would have allowed all existing residents to stay. 

“I invite HC-One to publicly explain its reasons.

“I would like to thank our council workers who have worked tirelessly in a short time frame with residents at the Elms and their families and have been successful in finding new homes for them that meet their needs and wishes.

“I would also like to reassure residents in other HC-One homes that we remain committed to making sure that they receive the standards of care that meet their need – either in their existing homes or to explore other options if that is their wish.

“We will be continuing to monitor the performance of HC-One in these homes closely.”

The CQC report on The Elms can be read here: The Elms Care Home – Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk)  

Facebook

Read More

Say NO to Sunnica campaign group has mounted a massive effort to stop the solar farm PHOTO: Say NO to Sunnica Say NO to Sunnica campaign group has mounted a massive effort to stop the solar farm PHOTO: Say NO to Sunnica
News1 day ago

Labour approve 2,500 acre Sunnica solar farm on Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border

Government also drops 9-year ban on onshore windfarms

Peterborough City Council told CambsNews: ‘Following the recent identification of poisonous hemlock plants on land at Thorpe Meadows, we have worked to restrict access to this area.’ PHOTO: Terry Harris for CambsNews Peterborough City Council told CambsNews: ‘Following the recent identification of poisonous hemlock plants on land at Thorpe Meadows, we have worked to restrict access to this area.’ PHOTO: Terry Harris for CambsNews
Peterborough City Council1 day ago

Poisonous hemlock forces closure of Thorpe Meadows, Peterborough

The signs warn visitors of ‘toxic poison hemlock on site’

Carlyle-Parker, from Wisbech, later pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, actual bodily harm and dangerous driving Carlyle-Parker, from Wisbech, later pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, actual bodily harm and dangerous driving
Crime2 days ago

Wisbech man jailed for ‘horrific attack’ on his partner whilst their child was in the car

'He put all their lives and the lives of other road users at risk'

Human trafficker suspect detained in Whittlesey told police ‘they want me? about what?’ before being advised of his rights and bundled into a police van. Human trafficker suspect detained in Whittlesey told police ‘they want me? about what?’ before being advised of his rights and bundled into a police van.
Crime2 days ago

WATCH: Human trafficker suspect held in Whittlesey on European arrest warrant

Suspect spotted speeding in Bellmans Road arrested in Sycamore Road

NewRiver Retail plan to demolish the car park to make way for a new food store but have not given details of which supermarket chain wants to move in. NewRiver Retail plan to demolish the car park to make way for a new food store but have not given details of which supermarket chain wants to move in.
News2 days ago

360-space Horsefair Wisbech car park to be demolished to make way for new store

The multi-storey car park is attached to Horsefair Shopping Centre

Recycling facilities in March are set for a £4m upgrade, after Cambridgeshire County Council agreed for a replacement. Visual of the new household recycling centre Recycling facilities in March are set for a £4m upgrade, after Cambridgeshire County Council agreed for a replacement. Visual of the new household recycling centre
Cambridgeshire County Council3 days ago

Green light for £4m recycling centre at March despite 17 per cent hike in costs

Cambridgeshire has 9 household waste recycling centres

Protect Local Peterborough (PRP) is a campaign to oppose proposals for a Township in the middle of open countryside. Protect Local Peterborough (PRP) is a campaign to oppose proposals for a Township in the middle of open countryside.
Your Views3 days ago

OPINION: ‘Fastest growing city in the UK’ is not a vision for the people of Peterborough

Fighting to prevent mass suburban sprawl in and around Castor and Ailsworth

Kuda Madondo Allison Clarke Niall James and Keith Johnson (002) Kuda Madondo Allison Clarke Niall James and Keith Johnson (002)
News3 days ago

Stagecoach East reveal ‘crème de la crème’ for Bus Driver of the Year awards

The contestants came from across Stagecoach East

Paul Bristow awaiting result of the count in Peterborough. Photo: Terry Harris Paul Bristow awaiting result of the count in Peterborough. Photo: Terry Harris
Politics3 days ago

Ex MP Paul Bristow says Tories must win back young people who voted Reform

'I’m proud to have secured £125 million for the city'

Image of what The Press will look like when complete: it set to deliver over 100,000 sq ft of fitted lab and office space through repositioning of Cambridge’s former printing press. Image of what The Press will look like when complete: it set to deliver over 100,000 sq ft of fitted lab and office space through repositioning of Cambridge’s former printing press.
Business3 days ago

Foxton, Cambridge development ‘responds to persistent shortfall in fit-for-purpose lab and office space’

New 100,000 sq ft Foxton science and innovation campus