Some failures are inevitable
There’s a lot of speculation as to the near-term future of Four Seasons Health Care: as to if it will be placed in administration with some investors out of pocket and a few wiley individuals apparently trousering a surplus following financial machinations which are incomprehensible to me.
No one should be surprised by this development; government effectively washed its hands of adult social care provision and handed it over to the private sector many years ago. Multinational investors in all their guises have but one imperative – to maximise monetary return, but private enterprise and risk go hand-in-hand and some failures are inevitable.
One has the sense of the Southern Cross debacle playing out again, with national media asking largely fatuous questions about corporate accountability, presenting government as a potential ‘Mr Fixit’ rather than as agent provocateur.
But a failure of Four Seasons is likely to have more serious ramifications than that of Southern Cross. There might be a HC-One lookalike, waiting in the wings with its cards held firmly to its chest, ready to rescue the rump when the time is ripe but the economic landscape is considerably more hostile and the regulatory burden is that much heavier than it was six years’ ago.
This time, the then much talked of possibility of frail elderly residents having to move out into other, inappropriate settings may well come to pass. If this turns out to be the case, blaming the likes of Terra Firma is silly; they will do whatever government allows them to do in pursuit of profits. If blame is to be apportioned, the bulk of it must go to government and its failure to govern.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.