HC-One

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HC-One
TypeCare Home Group
IndustryHealthcare management
PredecessorSouthern Cross Healthcare
FounderDr Chai Patel CBE FRCP
Headquarters
Darlington
,
United Kingdom
Number of locations
275
Area served
Residential and Nursing Care Homes
Key people
Number of employees
19,000 (2022)
Websitehc-one.co.uk

HC-One is Britain's largest care home operator, with more than 275 care homes across England, Scotland and Wales specialising in dementia, nursing and residential care for older people.

History[edit]

HC-One was formed following the collapse of the UK's then-largest care home operator, Southern Cross Healthcare. Entrepreneur Chai Patel, a doctor and former Chief Executive of Priory Group, formed HC-One, which became operational on 1 November 2011.

Since its inception, HC-One has broadened its offering across the UK by acquiring care homes from providers including Bupa, Helen McCardle Care, and Meridian Healthcare. It also opened three newly built care homes between December 2020 and October 2021, including its first care home in York – Mossdale Residence. In 2021, HC-One also announced its refurbishment programme, to modernise the living environments of more than 200 care homes across the company.

In November 2018, HC-One was awarded Care Home Group of the Year at the National Care Awards in London. HC-One has also achieved a 9.5 average review score rating on carehome.co.uk from relatives and residents living in HC-One homes, with 24 care homes being announced in the top 20 in their region in 2022.

In September 2020, James Tugendhat joined HC-One as Chief Executive Officer, and Dame Ruth Carnall was appointed as non-executive Chair of the Board in September 2022.

HC-One employs around 19,000 people in its homes and its support office based in Darlington. In December 2021 HC-One announced a £17.5 million investment in its pay and reward scheme to help attract staff. In 2022, it was ranked 45th in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers for its apprenticeship opportunities offered to newly recruited and existing employees.

Acquisitions[edit]

In 2015, HC-One acquired 30 care homes from Meridian Healthcare in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire.[1] In 2017, HC-One purchased 20 care homes from Helen McArdle Care, making them the largest care home provider in the North East of England.[2]

In August 2017 it bought 122 care homes, with 9,000 beds, from Bupa for £300 million, making it the biggest care home company in the UK with 22,000 beds in total.[3]

In February 2021 it announced the sale of 52 care homes and closure of four more. At the same time it announced it was refurbishing 200 care homes and opening two more.[4]

BBC Panorama broadcast an investigative programme on Dec 6th 2021 analysing the financial structure of the company, owned by Private Equity, with the charge that just two days after writing to UK local authorities asking for financial help due to the COVID pandemic, it paid out £4.8m in dividends.[5]

Incidents[edit]

One of HC-One's homes, Oban House, was featured in an episode of the BBC's Panorama programme, investigating poor care there and at another home owned by another company. In response, HC-One expressed a desire to install surveillance cameras in its homes to prevent a recurrence.[6]

A multi-agency review into HC One's Blar Buidhe Care Home in the Outer Hebrides is under way following a number of concerns raised over the dietary programmes of residents.[7]

The company has lost several unfair dismissal cases.[8] As a result, they consistently scores around 2.5/10 from ex-employee reviews on the anonymous website Glassdoor.[9]

In 2016 the Four Seasons Care Home in Breightmet, labelled inadequate by the Care Quality Commission in May 2015 was banned from taking new residents while concerns about the administration of medicines and the leadership and management of the home were investigated. The company said they were forced to rely on temporary agency nurses.[10]

After a 72-year-old was burned by a portable heater at Elmwood Nursing Home in Croydon in March 2016, HC-One were fined £45,000. The CQC's deputy chief inspector of adult social care, said: "This painful injury could have been avoided if HC-One Limited had taken responsibility to protect the people in their care."[11]

In May 2019, HC-One received a £270,000 fine after a resident at its Lomond Court Care Home in Fife died after eating a chlorine cleaning tablet.[12]

A documentary episode from Panorama in 2021, titled Care in Crisis: Follow the Money, showed that one–fifth of HC-One's self-funders' weekly fees are used to finance debt, build up investment and provide a financial return to investors. It also revealed they borrowed £300m in 2017, including £80m from commercial lenders, one of which was its private equity owner which charged an interest rate of 15-18%. Panorama also revealed HC-One wrote to the government in 2017 requesting pandemic support two days after paying out £4.8m in dividends. It went on to receive £18.9m in government aid. Former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt said the findings were "utterly shocking", adding: "It is the unacceptable face of capitalism and is wholly inappropriate considering the point of the sector is to look after our most vulnerable people."[13]

In the wake of an outbreak of COVID-19 infections at a care home run by HC-One in the Isle of Skye, the Scottish Care Inspectorate took legal action to take over running the Home Farm care home. It also moved to cancel the company's registration of the care home.[14][15] As of May 2020, at least 10 residents had died at Home Farm Care Home and all but four residents tested positive.[16] Claims included that air freshener was being used as a disinfectant, there was a failure to provide some ill residents with oxygen and that some people did not receive the right support to eat and drink well, as well as some residents were also reported to have been lying in urine and faeces, including occasions when the urine and faeces had dried which poses health risks.[17] In March 2022, it was reported that the Crown Office were considering doing reports into the deaths. It was also stated that prosecutors were reviewing three deaths.[18]

In May 2020, staff members told of their concerns over alleged failings in the care of suspected coronavirus patients in homes in Scotland. A number of whistleblowers who work in HC-One care homes across Scotland told LBC News that safe practices were not being correctly followed, including being told to come in and work despite having symptoms as well as being asked to work with residents who have coronavirus without adequate PPE. At the time of the concerns being raised, HC-One ran 56 care homes in Scotland. As of May 2020, 207 HC-One residents in Scotland had died with Coronavirus which – at the time – equated to 14% of all care home deaths linked to COVID-19 in the country.[19] In September 2021, it was revealed that the company had begun sacking staff who refused to have the COVID-19 vaccine.[20]

In January 2022, the company were fined £640,000 after a resident at one of its homes choked to death on a jam doughnut. The resident, who had previously suffered from a stroke and had been diagnosed with dementia, was assessed as being at high risk of choking and was on a "minced and moist/fork mashable" diet. An investigation by the HSE found that staff who gave out snacks at Orchard Care Home had not been properly trained and did not have awareness of food that was suitable for each diet.[21]

In March 2022, HC-One were forced to apologise after a dementia resident was left stuck in a cupboard. Police were called to the home more than two hours after the resident went missing. The woman was taken to hospital where she received treatment for dehydration and bruising to her head. HC-One apologised to the resident's daughter and admitted she should have been informed earlier that her mother had gone missing. They were ordered to pay a fine of £1,300.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meridian Healthcare acquired by HC-One". carehome.co.uk. Tomorrow's Guides.
  2. ^ Albert, Angeline. "HC-One buys Helen McArdle's 20 care homes and home care business". carehome.co.uk. Tomorrow's Guides.
  3. ^ "HC-One seals Bupa £300m care home deal despite frets on debt". Evening Standard. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  4. ^ "HC-One announces the sale of 52 care homes and four closures". Care Home Professional. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  5. ^ "BBC Panorama exposes HC-One – UK's largest care-home operator!". 8 December 2021.
  6. ^ BBC Panorama exposes abuse and neglect at two care homes, Care Home, 29 May 2014
  7. ^ Chris Foote (17 March 2015). "Care chiefs review home over concerns about diet of residents". STV. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Why unfair dismissal case is important for employers".
  9. ^ "HC-One Reviews".
  10. ^ "Under-fire care home banned from taking new patients after 'further concerns' raised". Bolton News. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  11. ^ "HC-One fined £45,000 over burns incident". Care Home Professional. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Care home fined £270,000 after resident died from eating cleaning tablets". Care Home Professional. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Panorama reveals HC-One and Four Seasons debt exposure". Care Home Professional. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Legal move to take over infection-hit private home". BBC News. 14 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Statement on Home Farm Care Home, Skye". 14 May 2020. Archived from the original on 14 May 2020.
  16. ^ "More than 200 residents die at scandal-hit HC-One care homes in Scotland". Daily Record. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  17. ^ "'Air freshener used as disinfectant' at Skye care home". BBC. 18 November 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Crown Office considers reports into 11 Covid deaths at Skye care home". Press and Journal. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Coronavirus: 'Sick patients in Scottish care homes allowed to mingle with healthy people'". LBC. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  20. ^ "'No jab, no job' to become a rule at one in five employers". Press and Journal. 19 May 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  21. ^ "Darlington care company HC-One fined after resident choked to death". The Northern Echo. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  22. ^ "HC-One apologises after dementia resident left stuck in cupboard". Care Home Professional. 11 March 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.

External links[edit]