Britain’s Biggest Care Homes Rack Up Debts of £40,000 a Bed

Britain’s four largest privately owned care home operators have racked up debts of £40,000 a bed, meaning their annual interest charges alone absorb eight weeks of average fees paid by local authorities on behalf of residents, the Financial Times reported. Accounts for HC-One, Four Seasons Health Care, Barchester Healthcare, and Care UK — which together run about 900 care homes and look after 55,000 residents — show they are paying an overall average rate of almost 12 per cent interest on total debts of £2.2bn.  This puts their annual interest costs at more than £250m — high for a low-margin business such as social care — according to analysis by Opus Restructuring, the social-care analysts. The punitive costs — which average £4,800 per bed per year, compared with average local authority fees of about £31,000 — contributed to overall losses at the companies of £900m from 2015 to 2017. Read more