Fears have been raised for 11 locally based care homes after Four Seasons announced it is set to go into administration.
The UK-wide company made the announcement earlier today (Tuesday), with Dunlarg in Keady (main image) and Manor Hall in Portadown just two of its many care homes across Co Armagh and surrounding areas.
The company is set to appoint corporate undertakers at Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to carry out the administration process after failed attempts at finding a suitable buyer.
In total, Four Seasons houses 22,000 elderly residents across 322 homes, although the firm insists that operations will be unaffected by the move.
A total of 58 of these homes are in Northern Ireland, amounting to around 3,000 beds.
Group medical director Dr Claire Royston commented: “Today’s news does not change the way we operate or how our homes are run or prompt any change for residents, families, employees and indeed suppliers.
“It marks the latest stage in the group’s restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process.”
The Department and Health and Social Care Board said they will continue to closely monitor the situation.
“We note the announcement from the company today, including the assurance that care provision at its homes are continuing as normal,” said the spokesperson.
“Officials will remain in contact with Four Seasons and will keep necessary contingency arrangements under ongoing review.”
It is the biggest care home group to have gone into administration since Southern Cross in 2011.