Jobs 'at risk' at ailing care firm's Stafford HQ
Scores of workers at Allied Healthcare's headquarters in Stafford have been told their jobs are at risk as the care company works to shed its string of contracts nationwide.
Allied, which provides care in the home for around 13,000 people around the country, has been left reeling by a negative report from the Care Quality Commission which led to it losing a number of contracts with customers such as local authorities.
Allied is one of the biggest home care providers in the country, employing around 8,000 people and with its head office at Cavendish House on Staffordshire Technology Park. Staff at the head office were told yesterday their jobs were 'at risk'.
The Care Quality Commission said in a report earlier this month it was concerned Allied Healthcare might not be able to continue to operate after November 30.
Allied provides care services across 84 councils, including home care for the elderly and disabled such as help cleaning or shopping, assistance getting showered and dressed, preparing meals, and managing medication. It had around 150 contracts with local authorities and others, run from 83 branches nationwide.
The commission wrote to the councils who commission care services through Allied Healthcare to alert them of its concerns.
Allied Healthcare issued reassurances that its operations were 'sustainable and safe' but the CQC report has led to a number of its customers switching to alternative providers.
An Allied Healthcare spokesman said: “These developments have intensified the impact of the challenging environment within which we operate and come immediately prior to the Christmas period, when pressures on care providers are at their highest.
"This has also meant that we have had to re-evaluate our long-term business plan."
The company is now aiming to transfer all its care contracts to other providers "in order to minimise disruption to continuity of care'. Staff are being transferred with the contracts, but Allied employs 1,200 support staff including the team at its Stafford headquarters who are now in formal consultation over the future of their jobs.
The spokesman added: “We continue to trade safely while this process is underway. RBS as our existing lender has agreed to extend our current credit line by up to three weeks beyond November 30, enabling us to deliver safe continuity of care whilst we explore and implement these options.
“We will work closely with the CQC and all commissioners of care to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the care that we provide across the UK whilst this transition takes place. Continuity of care is our number one priority.”
The latest crisis comes just months after Allied Healthcare secured a financial rescue plan, called a company voluntary arrangement or CVA. The deal in May saw it agree a deal with creditors to revive its fortunes while paying off its debt.