Video report by ITV News Correspondent Romilly Weeks
There is a “credible risk of service disruption” at one of the biggest home care providers in England, inspectors have warned.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised concerns that Allied Healthcare may not be able to continue to operate after November 30.
The company is one of the largest home care providers in England and provides care services across 84 councils to around 9,300 people.
It helps provide a range of services including home care – which can be help with cleaning and shopping, getting showered and dressed, preparing meals, and managing medication for the elderly or disabled.
CQC said it has written to 84 English local authorities who commission some sort of care services through Allied Healthcare to notify them of its concerns.
But Allied Healthcare issued reassurances that its operations are “sustainable and safe”.
CQC said Allied Healthcare announced its intention to apply for a Company Voluntary Arrangement in April to restructure its debts.
The regulator said it has been monitoring the situation “closely” to ensure that care continues for people who receive home care from the company.
While Allied Healthcare has confirmed funding until the end of the month, CQC said that it has not receive “adequate assurance” that the company can continue to operate from December onwards.
Ms Sutcliffe added that local authorities are bound to ensure continuity of care for everyone using an adult social care services in the event it “ceases to operate”.
Ms Sutcliffe added: “I understand this is a very unsettling time for everyone who uses Allied Healthcare’s services, their families and loved ones, and staff.
“It is of course possible that the company is able to avoid service disruption, and, if that is the case, we will revise our position accordingly.”
A spokesman for Allied Healthcare said: “We are surprised and deeply disappointed by CQC Market Oversight’s decision, which we regard as premature and unwarranted.
“We have demonstrated throughout our discussions with the regulator that Allied Healthcare’s operations are sustainable and safe, that we have secured a potential replacement of our credit facility, that there is no risk to continuity of care, and that we have a long-term business plan in place that will continue to deliver quality care across the UK.
“The CQC has disregarded these assurances in spite of the robust evidence we have provided.
“By issuing a Stage 6 notification, the CQC is putting significant pressure on already stretched and pressurised local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.
“Continuity of quality care is our number one priority. We will continue to provide the services entrusted to Allied Healthcare and will work closely with all commissioners of care throughout this period.”