7 June 2011

How lucrative is the private health & care home business and who are some of the figures behind such businesses...?

Initially the issue was about the appalling treatment residents suffered as shown on the recent Panorama programme.  However, as more information comes to light, more questions arise about the 'care industry'!

Today's Daily Mail Headline :  No 10 Man at heart of care homes scandal : Blair aide's key role at bank that oversaw sale of troubled Southern Cross empire

Jeremy Heywood is now David Cameron's Permanent Secretary at Downing Street - he is tipped to be the next Cabinet Secetary.  No mention of that in the headlines - the headlines concentrate on Heywood being close to Tony Blair !  Also he spent some time in Gordon Brown's government too.   Hmm...  a case of the right wing press looking after the right wing government...  A rather biased edge in reporting here which of course is why #pressreform was established - to expose/debate about the media especially unfair reporting, but rarely has it been so blatant !  But that point isn't the main crux of this blog...  It merely opened up what appears to be a rather large can of worms... read on..

Within the Daily Mail article the name of Baroness Sally Morgan of Huyton appears..  She is a Non-Executive Director of Southern Cross, having taken up her post in 2006. She is a Labour peer and was filmed along with Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Margaret Hewitt in a Dispatches programme entitled 'Politicians for Hire' where it was suggested they could provide access to government for the business and corporate world - for cash !  Remember it ? http://is.gd/THaxBo I understand that The Baroness was cleared http://is.gd/03dVmc by a sub-committee of the House of Lords.  Then there was the expenses issue  http://is.gd/5t5SPE

Apart from being associated with Southern Cross The Baroness also sits alongside Alan Milburn on Lloyds Pharmacy advisory panel. He, of course, is a former Health Minister. And she sits on the board of Carphone Warehouse!  All very lucrative I'm sure.  This is a profile of Labour that I hate to bring up, but if I don't do so in this blog then I'm not being honest. It's painful. These factors remind me that Labour must examine ethics about what is acceptable and what is not.

Back to Baroness Morgan! In February this year, Michael Gove, Cameron's Education Minister decided to appoint her to be Head of Ofsted, the education watchdog !  So not only was she a go-between with the trade unions it appears that TheBaroness has transcended into the coalition government.  Quite a gal - of sorts!  We know that Milburn also serves this coalition government as do one or two other Labour figures.  The most recent remarks by the GMB towards the coalition, especially after Vince Cable's attack warning against strikes, has not been very friendly !  Kevin Maguire from the Daily Mirror isn't too keen on Baroness Sally Morgan either http://is.gd/ABE2oU

Last week Cameron stated that 31,000 residents from the troubled Southern Cross Care Homes would be found alternative accommodation.  What really concerns me, however, is where will these residents be transferred to...   I wonder if it could be with Barchester Care Homes? Barchester essentially appears to be the same company as Castlebeck - the care home featured last week on Panorama. Barchester is one of the largest groups of care homes - headed up by Mike Parsons who knows and chats to er..  yes one Mr. David Cameron http://is.gd/60nBZQ.  He has talked quite openly about his support for Cameron's policies  and adds that he hates health & safety checks ! Indeed, I imagine he does, even more so after the Panorama documentary on Castlebeck   Video : http://is.gd/1z7Ddz.  

So what else do we know about Mike Parsons ?  Well, he has plenty of business interests...  and from media reports and his own Barchester website he appears to offer a great service in healthcare whether it be Barchester Healthcare, Castlebeck or whatever other company he has ! He reckons that health and socialcare needs to change and that with Barchester 'You're in good hands'  http://is.gd/6ffJR5.   This conveys a rather different picture from Panorama !  This piece on Westminster Healthcare explains how we pay from the public purse... Westminster Healthcare ? You've probably guessed...  yes another Mike Parsons business  http://is.gd/Tbbo7N.  

By now you will gather that there's quite a lot of money to be made from vulnerable people and the taxpayer who happen to fund much of these businesses ! And here's some more information about Parsons and his partners...  http://is.gd/QRwONF   Now you'd think that Mr. Parsons and his partners made enough money out of healthcare.. but no... have a look at this list especially under the name of Michael Dennis Parsons.  It reveals one company Burleigh House Properties Ltd - estate agents http://is.gd/KSP721  And if that isn't enough here are lots of details re Barchester http://is.gd/TtinPN.

Well you might be rubbing your hands thinking that there'll be lots of tax collected, ensuring that taxpayers' money is filtering back into the Treasury.  Really? Is that what you thought ?  The holding Company of Castlebeck, Barchester etc., is called Grove Limited and is based in Jersey,  Not only that but there's an investment company called Lydian Capital which is backed by the three Irish owners of Castlebeck... Lydian is based in Geneva. Yet another tax haven.  The three Irish entrepeneurs also have financial interests in horseracing and in the Sandy Lane Resort, Barbados - here's a bit of info together with a profile of one of it's owners Mr. J P McManus http://is.gd/PT2Gab also co-owner of Barchester, Castlebeck...  and even radio stations ! Wonder what else he and his fellow entrepeneurs own...   What will they turn their attention to next, the NHS?! 

Mr. McManus is Irish by birth, has massive business interests in Britain, manages a holding company in Jersey and lives in Switzerland.  I wonder if Ireland loses out...   Yes, healthcare is big business and we may suspect that we the British taxpayers appear to be losing tax from profits made in the UK, much of it paid for by us, the taxpayers and/or from vulnerable people! I wonder what the real scandal is ?

And remember, this blog focuses on just one such provider of health & social care !

And finally, if you think abuse is centred in just one or two care homes, have a look at this list http://is.gd/tJLJpU.  Now is the time to have a debate about health and social care.  If we ignore, we do so at our peril.  Should health & social care be in the hands of a few people who make huge profit, or in the public domain...  Will there be a public sector to be able to have such a consideration ? And who is the private care sector accountable to ? Is this the sort of provision we want for the NHS?  I think not...

All the information used in this blog is publicly available.