Government must step in to reassure Four Season’s workforce and residents, says GMB

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The pending collapse of Four Seasons has prompted a call from the GMB union for the Government to urgently step in to reassure Four Seasons staff and residents while the company looks for buyer.

The union says the company’s situation is symptomatic of a social care system ‘crumbling beneath us’ and why the Government must stop delaying their Green Paper in social care.

Four Seasons, which has 20,000 workers and around 17,000 residents across 322 care homes, insists that operations will be unaffected.

The union says a collapse, which could be the biggest failure since Southern Cross went bust in 2011, shows a lack of funding is putting all our futures in serious danger.

Rehana Azam (pictured), GMB National Secretary, said: “The possible collapse of Four Seasons shows our care system is in crisis, it is crumbling beneath us because the funding isn’t there.

“Lack of funding in the care sector is putting the profession – and all of our futures – in serious danger.

“Throughout our lives, we will all come into contact with care – be it our mums and dads needing help, working as a carer or knowing someone who does. Ultimately we will all need it ourselves.

“But instead of taking action, this Government keeps kicking the Green Paper on social care into the long grass.

“Instead of wasting all their time bickering over Brexit, the Conservatives must pledge to step in and make sure Four Seasons facilities continue to operate and give tens of thousands and workers and residents the reassurance they need.”

George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said: “Today’s announcement is a symptom of a neglected and broken social care system that government has refused to address. This is turning upside down the lives of thousands of the most vulnerable people in society.

“While private providers can walk away, it is families and local authorities who are left to pick up the pieces, causing worry and anxiety about meeting the care needs of older people.

“We call on the government to take urgent action to ensure vital care and support is continued so no older person is left high and dry. We can’t escape the fact that the two years that government have dithered and delayed over social care reform means that older people are every day bearing the brunt of government inaction.”

The Department and Health and Social Care Board say they intend to closely monitor the situation.

A spokesman said: “We note the announcement from the company today, including the assurance that care provision at its homes are continuing as normal.

“Officials will remain in contact with Four Seasons and will keep necessary contingency arrangements under ongoing review.”

Picture (c) Twitter.