Interim Management of 13 Non-Core Care Homes in England and Wales for an Administrator Pending Individual Sales

Healthcare Solutions (HCMS) was invited by a major national insolvency firm to tender for the Management in Administration of 13 care homes with a wide geographical spread.

The group had been struggling financially for some time and as a consequence the homes were suffering from irregular supplies, under-investment in the fabric of the buildings, poor relationships with the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) and Local Authority contracting departments (“LA’s”) and, in certain cases, admissions embargoes were in force.

On appointment, HCMS mobilised it’s team of Regional managers and their field based teams to attend each home and the group’s head office.

Day 1

HCMS staff contacted the CQC and LA’s to advise of the Administration and open channels of communication. Basic information relating to each home was collated regarding staff, clients, and supplies. Suppliers were contacted and arrangements made for new accounts to be opened for each home.
Home managers were briefed and staff meetings were arranged. Staff were advised of the situation thus helping to alleviate concerns. An initial review of each home was carried out to ensure that there were no immediate Health and Safety, Safeguarding or physical risks to clients.

Staffing levels were reviewed and rotas checked to ensure that adequate staffing levels were maintained.

HCMS staff met with the Administrator’s representatives at the group’s head office. It was established that not all information was readily available and there were doubts as to the accuracy of that found.

Week 1

A full health & Safety audit was carried out identifying any potential risks. As part of this exercise, a number of surveys were commissioned – including fire, electrical testing, Legionella testing, PAT (portable electrical appliances) and LOLER (lifts and hoists).

Staff files were reviewed to ensure the legality of employment of staff and, in particular, overseas workers. As a result, a number of staff were immediately suspended pending establishment of their legal right to work.

Client files were reviewed to ensure that care plans are properly prepared, accurate, current and relevant to the individuals. Where necessary risk assessments were carried out.

Optimum staffing levels were determined and changes implemented within the homes.

Financial information was reviewed and financial forecasts prepared in conjunction with the revised staffing levels.

Without accurate and up to date financial information it was difficult to determine with confidence the financial performance of the homes on Appointment. What could be determined was that the homes were in a poor physical condition, there were serious issues with the regulator and with the contractors, management at the homes was patchy and largely unsupported and unsupervised, record keeping was poor and basic supplies hard to obtain.

HCMS continued to operate the homes, improving both the standards of care and financial performance. Two homes that had been poorly rated and on embargo were successfully regraded and the admissions blocks lifted.

From the start and all the way through the assignment, close professional links were developed with the CQC and LA contracting teams. Quality was improved across all sites and embargoes were lifted.