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Care home provider HC-One has pledged to ensure the 54 staff jobs at its Moss Park home in Caol will be protected after confirming it will be among 52 of the company’s properties to be sold off as part of a nationwide restructuring process.
HC-One, which transferred ownership of its Home Farm Care Home at Portree to NHS Highland, following last year’s Covid outbreak which claimed the lives of 10 elderly residents and saw dozens of staff members infected with the virus, said the nationwide changes were being made in order to better meet the current and future care needs of local communities.
As well as the sale of 52 homes around the UK, a further four will be closed, while some 200 will undergo refurbishment.
Asked about the Moss Park home, a spokesperson for HC-One told the Lochaber Times this week: ‘Our utmost priority is the health and wellbeing of our residents. This decision has not been taken lightly, but we feel Moss Park will be better supported by a different operator with a different offer to the local community.
‘Throughout this process, Moss Park will continue to be part of the HC-One family and there will be no change in the day-to-day running of the home while the sale process is under way.
‘The home will be sold as an operational care home and we will look for a high-quality care provider to take this home forward as just that, a home.
‘We will be working closely with prospective buyers to ensure that everyone’s jobs and the existing terms and conditions of their employment are protected by TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) regulations.
‘The sale of the home will only happen when we are convinced we have found the right alternative operator who will help the home thrive over the long-term. Throughout this process we will keep our residents and their relatives updated, and at the appropriate time we will provide information about the new owner.’
Reacting to news of the sale of 52 homes, Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant has written to Health Secretary Jeane Freeman urging the Scottish Government to take the homes in Scotland under local authority control.
The Labour MSP told Ms Freeman: ‘I am deeply concerned and would urge the government to step in. I would echo what the GMB Union has said: The announcement that one of our biggest social care providers is having to sell off and transfer care homes during the biggest public health crisis in all our lifetimes just shows how badly in need of repair our social care system is.
‘Please bring the homes being sold under local authority control with the Scottish Government funding the transition costs. A properly funded national care service has never been so vital.’
Situated on the shore of Loch Linnhe at Caol, Moss Park is a purpose-built care home with 40 beds offering nursing care and nursing memory care for those living with dementia.