Bidder for Bupa care homes sees flurry of complaints upheld in Scotland as sale deadline nears

Tracey Boles
Old People's Home
A care home (Source: Getty)

THE firm tipped to buy half of Bupa's care homes in what could be a £450m deal has has had over 100 complaints against it upheld by the Scottish Care Inspectorate in the last three years.

Care home provider HC-One is reported to be in advanced discussions to buy 150 homes from Bupa. CityA.M. has learnt that the deal could be signed as early as tomorrow. HC-One said it did not comment on market speculation.

HC-One is already Britain's third largest care home operator. Founded by the former ceo of The Priory clinics Dr Chai Patel, it was created in 2011 from the rubble of Southern Cross when it took over roughly 200 of the failed operator’s residential homes.

In the past three years, the Care Inspectorate in Scotland has upheld over 100 complaints against it. On average, nearly 60 per cent of complaints lodged with the inspectorate are upheld.

HC-One said: “It is worth noting that the figures highlighted equate to an average of less than one complaint upheld per home per year for the three year period identified. We are committed to providing the kindest care.

“HC-One is proud to have the highest compliance rating of all independent residential care home providers and we take pride in being involved in Government initiatives focused on raising standards across the industry, so that Residents receive the very best care.”

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said yesterday: "Everyone who needs it should experience safe, compassionate care which meets their needs and respects their rights and choices, and we know that most care services in Scotland perform well. We take all concerns brought to us seriously and look into them carefully.”

The Bupa portfolio is said to have been put up for sale late last year amid mounting pressures in the sector following local authority budget cuts. It declined to comment yesterday.

Southern Cross was the largest provider of care homes and long term care beds in the UK, operating over 750 care homes. Following rapid expansion financed by the sale of leases of its homes, its shares fell crushing its market value from £1.1bn to around £12m.

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