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Social care provider Qualia Care collapses into administration

Social care provider Qualia Care has collapsed into administration while a former director waits to stand trial over alleged links to unauthorised investment schemes in care homes in which investors appear to have lost at least £30m.

The Leeds-headquartered provider employs around 870 staff and operates 10 care homes, mostly in Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

Robin Forster, Richard Tasker and Fortem Global are the subject of High Court proceedings by the Financial Conduct Authority. An 11-day trial is scheduled to start in April.

Forster resigned as a director of Qualia Care on September 21 this year.

A statement on behalf of the administrator, Stephen Hunt of Griffins, said: “There was an attempt to rescue QCL [Qualia Care Limited] outside of administration but it was discovered that large sums had been removed from its bank accounts just prior to our appointment.

“Attempts to recover those sums were partially successful but not in time to avoid administration.”

Two related companies, Qualia Care Developments (QCD) and Qualia Care Properties (QCP), had already been in administration.

The current business was formed from a pre-pack sale in 2020 after QCD and QCP failed, leaving at least 700 investors owed money.

The administrator said “significant claims are being contemplated against third parties”.

A spokesman added: “There was an agreement in place for payments to be made to investors but that fell into default in December 2021.

“The recent administration appointments are part of a plan to restructure the business and make an initial return to investors.”

A spokesman for Healthcare Management Solutions said: “We are working closely with the administrator to manage the ten care homes operated by Qualia Care.

“Our focus is on ensuring that high quality care is delivered and that the people living in these homes are safe and happy. We will be shortly holding a series of meetings for relatives to explain the current position and provide reassurance that there are no plans to close these services.

“We understand this is also a worrying time for the staff who work in the homes and this news comes on top of the challenges brought on by the Covid pandemic. We would like to reassure them that their wellbeing is high on our list of priorities and that there are no plans for any job losses in the homes.”

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