Methodist Homes (MHA) plans to stop operating 10 of its care homes in England, with eight being put up for sale.
Following a review, which began in 2019, looking at the long-term sustainability of its services but paused during the pandemic, the group has now decided to withdraw from 10 of its 88 care homes.
Two are owned by local authorities and MHA is in talks with them to see if they can take on those homes. The remaining eight are up for sale.
The 10 care homes are Allesley Hall in Coventry; Avonleigh Gardens in Oldham; Cedar Lawn in Stratford upon Avon; Connell Court in Southport; Engelberg in Wolverhampton; Greenways in Bognor Regis; Hafan y Waun in Aberystwyth; Harwood Court in Cramlington; Herondale/Kingfisher in Birmingham; and Queenswood in Beeston, Nottingham.
In a statement on its website, the charity said while it was confident buyers for the homes would be found, it could not ‘rule out the possibility of some closures’. It hopes homes will start to transfer to new owners by early 2024.
‘Affected staff at these homes will be given the opportunity to transfer to the new provider under the formal legal process known as TUPE regulations,’ MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan said in the statement. ‘If we find ourselves having to close any care homes, we will support residents and their families to find new homes and affected staff to find new roles inside MHA, if there are any suitable opportunities and people want to stay with us or help them to find a new job elsewhere.’
Separately, MHA has placed Auchlochan Garden Village in Scotland into administration. The scheme includes two care homes at Auchlochan – Bankhouse and Lower Johnshill.
Changes north of the border also include MHA looking to sell three smaller retirement living schemes – Wesley Court in Granton near Edinburgh, Taransay Court in Milton near Glasgow, and St Andrew’s Court in East Kilbride.
‘These changes are being made to make sure MHA has a strong and viable future,’ Monaghan said. ‘This year we are marking our 80th anniversary of providing care and support for older people, and these changes will enable us to be in the best shape possible to continue to do this vital work.’
In 2021, Rangeford Villages took over the management of later living village Mickle Hill in Pickering, North Yorkshire. Rangeford had developed the village in partnership with MHA in 2016. However, following a strategic review by the charity and the timing of its contract renewal for providing services at the site, MHA decided Mickle Hill no longer fit within its plans.
Financial results to the year ended 31 March 2022 at MHA showed income reached £251.1m (2021: £242.6m), while EBITDAR was posted at £47.5m (2021: £33.3m).
LaingBuisson executive chair William Laing said: ‘MHA joins the list of larger groups which have taken a long, hard look at their portfolio and decided that, in the present climate, some homes are not sustainable.
‘Deconsolidation at the large corporate end of the market is a familiar theme (HC-One, Bupa and Four Seasons come to mind). But the interesting thing is that corporates can usually find another willing buyer – maybe a local provider which can see the potential that the corporate can’t. So, most disposals don’t turn into closures, and that’s one of the things that keep the sector from imploding. That’s positive, but there is of course a negative side as well, as councils (and the government) continue to get away with paying unsustainable fee rates.’