6 deaths in care home owned by corporate Tory Donors

Outbreak: Caledonian Court Care Home in Larbert.
(c) Google Maps 2020

Caledonian Court Care Home in Larbert, near Falkirk has been closed to new admissions and visiting is paused, after six residents who had tested positive for Covid-19, then died.

The home had a successful inspection in January 2020 and no issues around infection control were detected then.

A recent report for the Scottish Government identified size as the major correlating factor with higher Covid-19 death rates. Caledonian Court takes up to 72 residents and is thus one of the larger homes. Larger homes tend to be owned by corporations where maximising occupation levels and minimising costs is the priority.

The owner of Caledonian Court, Care UK, runs 114 homes across the UK and has a controversial history, including:

In November 2009 John Nash, the chairman of Care UK, made a donation of £21,000 to the private office of Andrew Lansley, who would later become Secretary of State for Health, but was at the time the health spokesman for the opposition. Lansley was later accused of a conflict of interest, as Care UK would be a major beneficiary of proposed changes.

In 2014, Care UK’s former chairman Lord Nash became a government minister and Care UK took over services for people with severe learning disabilities in Doncaster, south Yorkshire, where they immediately cut wages of staff who had been on NHS terms by up to 35% while bringing in 100 new workers on £7 an hour. Fifty carers for the disabled began strike action in protest and by August 2014, had been on strike for seven weeks, making it one of the longest strikes in the history of the NHS. Care UK won the supported living contract from the council after telling officials that it could deliver it for £6.7m over three years, yet the wage bill alone for the service was £7m.

A report in The Guardian of 17 March 2012 stated that Care UK “has a reduced tax bill by taking out loans through the Channel Islands stock exchange and coming to an agreement with HMRC”. Another report by the same newspaper in August 2014 stated that “Care UK has not paid a penny in corporation tax” since it was bought by the private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital in 2010.


6 thoughts on “6 deaths in care home owned by corporate Tory Donors

    1. Agreed, it is deliberate obfuscation as might have been written by/for a prominent businessman, the tailpiece in particular –
      “A report from Public Health Scotland last week disclosed that 112 known-positive hospital patients were moved to care homes at the very start of the pandemic, before more rigorous testing procedures were brought in.” – Significance to current events, NIL

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Care homes are supported by public funding. Local authority and Gov. Privately funded until the assets run out. A £16,000 liability limitation. Then public funded by Gov and local authorities. Funding for the residents who need care.

    Social care in Scotland means more people can stay in their own homes. It is also cost effective. Residential home care £600+ a week. Hospital care £600 a day.

    There were no tests at the start. Due to neglect by the Westminster Gov. They were no prepared despite warning of a pandemic. Concentrating on Brexit.

    The Scottish Gov put in measures, ruled and guidelines to limit the outbreak. Reducing the number of deaths.Testing and contacts is now up and running. People are isolating. The elderly with underlying conditions are in the highest category. Trying to stem the pandemic. Until a vaccine can be found.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There have been multiple reports on “questionable” financial arrangements of corporate care homes over the years, the investment vehicles involved are driven by profit within legal limits and will pull every string to protect their investors. That they are making a loss in any way is for the birds, but such is the way of large corporates in ALL industries in the “market-driven” UK.
    Scots are I suspect more uncomfortable with the balance of morality to cost, the converse of that in England from where the model sprang.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. O/T A minor example perhaps, but of some interest in the context of seeking to discern BBC News’ logic (and motivation?) in its coverage.

    On the BBC News website today 5 November its ‘UK’ page has this – “Coronavirus in the UK” and below an article headlined “New care home visits advice defended by minister”.

    Clicking on the latter headline reveals an article with a more informative headline : “Covid: New care home visits guidance in England defended by minister”.

    So I thought I’d check to see if this article about England’s care homes appears on the BBC News ‘England’ page. You would think this is the obvious place for it. But there is no sign of it there. The logic of the website editor is baffling – again! Unless of course England really is the UK in BBC land!

    I listened to the Radio 4 Today programme this morning – much coverage of this subject of care home visiting. All – and usually by implication only – just about England and the nature of UK government advice.

    No mention of the new and substantial revisions and phased relaxation of constraints on care home visits introduced by the SG several weeks ago. If you recall, back then the BBC in Scotland chose to emphasise the disparaging comments of one care home business owner who, if I recall a Care Inspectorate report correctly, would have been better occupied putting his own house in order!


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