UPDATE: Care home operator HC-One, which has homes in Inverness and Invergordon, responds to criticism from the GMB union over its plans to sell 10 of its Scottish properties
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A care home operator, which has homes in Inverness and Invergordon, has responded to union criticism over its plan to sell 10 of its Scottish properties.
This afternoon the GMB union attacked the planned move which it claimed would affect exhausted key workers, vulnerable services users and worried families.
A spokeswoman from HC-One said that, while the company was planning to sell 52 of its UK properties, it was also planning to refurbish more than 200 of its care homes, alongside an ongoing new build programme.
She said: “A review of our portfolio was well underway before the pandemic started and we took the decision to put this review on hold last year as the pandemic began.
“Homes which are being sold will be sold as operational care homes and we will be working closely with prospective buyers to ensure that our colleagues' jobs and the existing terms and conditions of their employment are protected by TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) regulations.
“For those homes which will close, we will provide all possible support to our colleagues to gain ongoing employment.
“We will also be investing in refurbishment works across over 200 of our care homes in addition to continuing our new build programme, as we look to modernise our portfolio.”
In a previous statement James Tugendhat, the chief executive of HC-One, said: “Our purpose, as The Kind Care Company, is to support those in our care to lead their best life, and serve at the heart of each of our communities.
“We strive to be the first choice for our families, our Colleagues and our commissioners, and best meet the evolving care needs of the country, including the growing demand for more complex care and dementia care.
“As we plan how best to use our resources to continuously improve our care homes, we are determined to invest where we can have the greatest impact and more effectively ready ourselves for the evolving needs of those we care for.
“As a result, we are putting 52 of our homes up for sale in areas where we feel our communities would be better served by a local operator in conjunction with other local services. We are also proposing to close four homes. In both cases, we will work closely with our local partners and commissioners.
“Whilst we have chosen to make this announcement now, having determined our investment priorities, our sales and the four closures will only happen when we are convinced that we have found the right alternative operator, and when residents are able to safely move to their new care placement, ensuring continuity of care throughout the pandemic. We will also be providing all possible support to our colleagues to make these processes as smooth as possible for them. It will be business as usual for every home until all these processes are complete.
“In conjunction, we are investing in refurbishing over 200 of our care homes. This is in addition to our new build programme, which most recently involved opening our first care home in York, Mossdale Residence, at the start of 2021, with a further two new care homes set to open soon, one in Bingham and one in Telford.”