Requires Improvement.

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In late Nov 2016 we ran a story about Care Workers in Shepway not receiving the minimum wage. Back in April 2016 Kentonline ran the story “Allied Healthcare Hythe in special measures after damning CQC report.” The CQC went back for a further inspection in Sept 2016 and over a period of four days – of which the manager was given 48 hours notice by the CQC of the inspection – the

CQC found: “there had been improvements made there were still shortfalls that required further management action to ensure people received safe care.

People were still not fully protected by safe medicine management and handling… Written guidance in relation to medicines prescribed ‘as required’ in most cases was now in place, but still required work. Staffs recording of medicines they had administered had improved, but not all instances of administration were recorded so we were unable to ascertain if people had received their medicines on those occasions.

Three colorful arrow signs reading Going, Going, Gone to represe

The provider had had a consistent recruitment drive in the last six months, but the turnover of staff had remained high and had continued to impact on the time people received their visits.  

The report concludes “Although we acknowledge that this is an improving service, there are still areas, which need to be addressed to ensure people’s health, safety and well-being are protected. We have identified a number of continued breaches of regulations. We will continue to monitor Allied Healthcare Hythe to check that improvement continues and are sustained.” The report in Sept 2016 concludes that Allied Healthcare, Hythe  Requires improvement across all areas.

Last week we spoke anonymously to the Allied branch in Hythe, who are currently recruiting care workers. They failed to mention whether as a care workers whether we’d be paid for travel time. We asked on four separate occasions.

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We spoke to Staff on the basis of anonymity and they informed us that they did not get paid for travel time, ‘Whittlestone vs BJP, now says they must by law. The Hythe branch offers rates from £8.07 to £8.75 an hour but the actual, average, pay rate will decline significantly when travel time is included.

Allied says it has an automated payment top up scheme, agreed by HMRC, which ensures staff do not fall below the minimum wage once their travel time is included.

Previously publicly-listed on both the New York and UK stock exchanges, Allied was bought by the private equity conglomerate Acromas Holdings for £114m in October 2011, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Acromas merged Allied’s home care business with that of Nestor Healthcare group, which it had bought for £132m in February 2011.

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Alas, the home market didn’t turn out to be as lucrative as Allied’s new owners hoped. Hit by tightening local authority budgets, their new business only made a profit in one of the years it was owned by the private equity giants. The business was unable to make any payouts to its owners and in Dec 2015 Acromas sold Allied to Auerelius Capital, a German investment fund, for just £19m.

Allied’s previous owner, Acromas Holdings was a sprawling business that also owned insurance giant Saga, the AA and other companies. Itself owned by private equity giants CVC Capital Partners, Charterhouse and Permira, Acromas was accused of avoiding millions of pounds in UK tax. The group enjoyed a £1.7bn payout at the end of last year from its sale of shares in AA and Saga, with more money made in previous years.

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Aurelius Capital is a German investment firm that owns businesses involved in shoe-making, hotels, yachts and plastic recycling, among others. Their CEO Dirk Markus (pictured) sees in Allied:  “an opportunity to further grow and develop the Company’s market leading position in the visiting care market “

It is going to be a busy few years for Aurelius’ UK office in Savile Row, Mayfair. As well as Allied, recent acquisitions include welfare contractor Working Links and cosmetic surgery firm The Hospital Group –accused of botching surgery6 and “cowboy tactics”7 by clients.

Shepwayvox put the above points to Allied Healthcare but the company declined to comment.

Shepwayvox

If you receive homecare from Allied Healthcare or any other provider and wish to tell us anything about the care you receive, you can do so anonymously by contacting us at  –  shepwayvox@riseup.net

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