FMQs Residential Care Homes Question

Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am ddyfodol cartrefi gofal preswyl Cymru a arferai fod o dan reolaeth y cwmni Four Seasons

[Will the First Minister make a statement on the future of Welsh residential care homes previously under the control of the company Four Seasons]

The First Minister: We understand that Terra Firma has made a substantial investment in Four Seasons. However, Four Seasons will continue to operate and run seven care homes in Wales. The continuity of care for the residents that are affected remains our overwhelming priority. The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales will monitor the operation of each home during the re-financing process.

Mark Drakeford: Here is how the takeover of Four Seasons by Terra Firma was reported in the national financial press:

‘Guy Hands, the tax exile and private-equity baron best known for his disastrous debt-fuelled takeover of EMI, is poised to snap up Britain’s largest care home chain’.

First Minister, would you be willing to consider the calls that have come from right across the political spectrum for the law to be changed so that, in future, when any individual or company seeks to take responsibility for the residential care of vulnerable older people, they should be made subject to a fit-and-proper-person test?

The First Minister: The wording from the article that you described will not fill Members with the greatest of confidence in the future of Four Seasons. Current legislation applies a robust set of pre-registration requirements that allow CSSIW to ensure that anyone seeking to operate a care home is fit to do so, and it extends to their financial position. We are looking to use the social services (Wales) Bill to strengthen the current regulatory system, which will include ensuring that our approach to the assessment of the financial viability of providers is as robust as possible. We will take effective enforcement action where necessary.