Care UK is a British company providing health and social care. The company works with councils, primary care trusts and doctors to deliver care and support for older people and those with learning disabilities or mental health problems, as well as a range of healthcare services for NHS patients.
The company was formed as Anglia Secure Homes in 1982, becoming Care UK PLC in 1994.
In 1997, the company acquired Care Solutions Limited, a learning disabilities provider responsible for 59 homes in Newcastle, Bradford, Staffordshire and Guildford. In 1998, it took on a further 7 care homes in Hampshire and the south coast with the acquisition of The Care Partnership.
In January 2014 it was announced that Philippa Slinger, the former chief executive of the troubled Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is to join Care UK.
The company runs 4 clinical assessment and treatment centres (CATS) and 7 NHS treatment centres, offering a range of procedures for conditions such as cataract surgery and hip replacements. In 2011, independent research organisation, Dr Foster, named Care UK as the best performing provider for hip operations.
Care UK also operates 12 GP-led health centre facilities providing walk-in services and a range of specialist mental health services including 18 homes and hospitals and residential treatment programmes for young people who have serious eating disorders.
In 2013 a joint venture with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust was created to purchase a 32-bed mental health rehabilitation unit in Gosport, and to create a 24-bed self-contained accommodation unit later in the year.
John Nash, the chairman of Care UK, made a donation of £21,000 to the private office of Andrew Lansley, who would later become Secretary of State for Health, but was at the time the health spokesman for the opposition. Lansley has since been accused of a conflict of interest, as Care UK would be a major beneficiary of the proposed changes.
In 2014, Care UK's former chairman Lord Nash became a government minister and Care UK took over services for people with severe learning disabilities in Doncaster, south Yorkshire - where they immediately cut wages of staff who had been on NHS terms by up to 35% while bringing in 100 new workers on £7 an hour. Fifty carers for the disabled began strike action in protest and by August 2014, had been on strike for 7 weeks - -making it one of the longest strikes in the history of the NHS. Care UK won the supported living contract from the council after telling officials that it could deliver it for £6.7m over three years. Yet the wage bill alone for the service was £7m.http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/09/former-nhs-carers-intensify-strike-over-pay
Alleged tax avoidance
A report in The Guardian of 17 March 2012 stated that Care UK "has a reduced tax bill by taking out loans through the Channel Islands stock exchange and coming to an agreement with HMRC". Another report by the same Newspaper in August 2014 stated that" Care UK has not paid a penny in corporation tax since it was bought by the private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital in 2010."http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/09/former-nhs-carers-intensify-strike-over-pay
- "Our history". Care UK. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Former Heatherwood and Wexham chief joins Care UK". Health Service Journal. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Dr Foster 2011 Hospital Guide".
- "Mental health trust strikes deal with private firm to double bed numbers". Community Care (Reed Business Information). 15 March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Andrew Lansley embroiled in 'cash for influence' row after accepting £21,000 donation from Care UK chairman John Nash". Mail Online. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- "Andrew Lansley bankrolled by private healthcare provider". The Daily Telegraph. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- "Firms poised to take advantage of NHS shake-up 'avoid tax on their profits'". The Guardian. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013.