Agenda item


The Strategic Director for Social Care and Education will provide a verbal update on the latest position relating to LCCL.


The Strategic Director for Social Care and Education gave a verbal update on the latest position relating to Leicestershire County Care Ltd (LCCL).


Members of the Commission were reminded that the LCCL position had been discussed a number of times over the past year, and a representative had spoken at the scrutiny meeting on 19 January 2021 giving assurances that the outstanding £200,000 due to the council would be paid by the end of the financial year 2020-21.


It was noted that:

·         The monies owed were originally due to be fully repaid at end Autumn 2020 at which point LCCL sought deferment and with some reluctance on the part of the council the view was taken to allow them to defer that payment taking account of the significant pressure LCCL were under due to Covid etc

·         The council were given a firm guarantee the remainder due would be received by 31 March but that was not received, and the council had sought through several routes to make contact with LCCL but without any response.

·         The council were now in position of starting process legally to recover the £200,000.

·         The council held a charge on one of the LCCL properties and could seek possession, however the council was considered what the most effective process would be to secure payment of the debt without causing issue for any residents or staff.

·         It was guaranteed that the council would receive full payment either taking back payments the council gave monthly or as a last resort repossession of one of the buildings.


Members of the commission noted the comments and it was publicly noted that the council were very disappointed given the firm assurances given by the company to this commission and very concerned and disappointed that payment had not been made and that there has been no response to numerous attempts to contact them. Members were satisfied that there were measures that could be taken by the council to secure the debt.


Members expressed their disappointment and concerns at the lack of payment and especially at the lack of response and were troubled by what this implied in terms of the leadership of a company such as LCCL that was responsible for care of people.


Members raised concern about the ongoing financial stability of the company and whether there was assurance in the standard of care in immediate term being given. Members also sought clarification on whether this whole issue highlighted failings in a market intervention because ultimately the council would step in. Responding, officers advised that there had been a strong national push in recent years for residential care and nursing care to be provided by commercial organisations and there were strengths that can come from such commercial arrangements. However, the local authority was ultimately the responsible body and if the company that runs a care home went out of business the implications for those residents and their families were very significant so there were issues where a “for profit organisation for care” operates. Members were also assured that were LCCL unable to operate financially the council was well placed to step in and move people with minimal disruption.


Members were informed that in terms of the quality of care, regular checks and audits of all care homes were done and the last checks of LCCL homes indicated they were satisfied with quality of care, so at this point there were no concerns about how they provided that support and care, but given what had been said today there would be further checks. Members were assured that steps would be taken to ensure people in these care homes were safe.


In terms of commercial arrangements it was noted that officers did work closely and carried out periodic checks of accounts of organisations to make sure they were financially stable, the last check on LCCL was for end year accounts 2019, and their new accounts weren’t due until Jan/Feb but this would be checked.


The Deputy City Mayor Social Care and Anti-Poverty commented that there was a need to look at this within the broader system, as the concern was that this company (LCCL) was fairly robust 12 months ago so this widened concerns  about other care homes that have had significant additional costs and additional funding too, although overall occupancy was down in care homes. It was important that the council ensured care homes were well run as there was responsibility for these residents and to ensure they are appropriately resourced.


The Chair summarised that the commission held very serious concerns about LCCL, its leadership, financial standing, failures to make payment and respond to attempts to contact them and members agreed that the council must take all necessary steps legally to recover the monies due to the council.


The Chair requested that the matter be brought to a future meeting of the commission if matters were not resolved.



1.    That the verbal update and concerns of the Commission be noted,

2.    That the Council be recommended and supported to take all necessary steps legally to recover the monies due to the council,

3.      That the matter be brought to a future meeting of the commission if matters are not resolved.