Members of Unison and other staff working at Peniel Care Home have been informed at short notice that the home is going into liquidation. Unison claim that the owners say that they are over a million pounds in debt.
The Union also allege that it is unclear who owns the company and where profits have gone.
Unison also claim that Carmarthenshire County Council have tried to identify the owners who left vulnerable residents without a home and owing staff pay and redundancy pay and have to date not been able to do so.
Mark Evans Branch Secretary of Unison Carmarthenshire said:
“While the owners who ever they are have left a trail of devastation in their wake they wont be liable for the costs and they will be free to set up another company or use another company they own to make a nice profit at the expense of staff and public money the very next day.
“The council had to step in and find residents accommodation and care at public expense. Basically the law allows these profit hungry individuals to make money from the public sector and then when it suits them shut up shop and leave the public sector with the bill.
“But staff and the public are right to question where the profits have gone for example, during the pandemic Welsh Government were subsidising the home by paying for the beds that were empty there.
“This is yet another example of where profit comes before people. It would not be an exaggeration to say that moving vulnerable residents could lead to their premature death. We need to take the care sector into public ownership run for the benefit of service users with good pay, terms and conditions for staff. We cannot allow hedge funds, investment groups and people to put profit first to continue to take our money and run.”
We spoke to a company that provided services for the home. A representative of the company who did not wish to be named said: “We have written off payment for services as we are probably at the bottom of the list to be payed. We have had difficulty getting paid in the past. We visited the home recently and we could see it was empty but the beds and furniture was still there. It is sad really that people can come and run a home then disappear like that.”.
Carmarthenshire County Council have been contacted for comment.