A care provider is to have its 15-year contract worth £64million cancelled by a county council. 

HC-One, which had a home in Cambridgeshire closed by the national regulator, is to have its contract cancelled by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC). 

The council has told HC-One, a provider of health and social care, that they will no longer be contracted to provide care home beds under the terms of a ‘block contract’. 

This follows CCC calling in the national regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to investigate persistent concerns about quality of care at The Elms care home in Whittlesey, which last month led to their order to close the care home. 

The Elms was one of five care homes which HC-One operates in Cambridgeshire. 

The CQC inspection report detailed poor performance, poor decision making and concerns regarding the standards of care at the Elms. 

Part of a statement from HC-One regarding the situation at The Elms read: “Without consistent, strong leadership and a care team we cannot deliver the standard of care that we want for residents living at the home.” 

The ‘block contract arrangement involved a guaranteed payment in exchange for an agreed number of 99 beds across the company’s care homes. 

This cancellation means that CCC will no longer refer new residents into HC-One's homes. 

CCC offered to buy the affected homes from HC-One, but this offer was rejected by the company, however the county council has confirmed that this offer remains on the table. 

Chair of the adults and health committee at CCC, Cllr Richard Howitt, said: “Our action reflects how deeply disappointed we are by the poor performance of HC-One regarding The Elms. 

“We acted quickly in calling the regulator and we are now acting quickly to ensure the provider does not continue to benefit from a substantial sum of public money, which we believe can be spent better elsewhere. 

“We have many other brilliant providers offering excellent care, so it is right that HC-One is held to account regarding its poor performance. It is the duty of the council to act.” 

The council will not be making new placements with HC-One, but existing residents will be given the option of staying in the remaining three homes run by the company locally if they wish. 

The authority will continue to monitor these homes to ensure the quality of care is sustained for those residents who wish to remain, and to explore options should they wish to move. 

Working with partners, residents and families, the council has successfully found new homes and accommodation for the 25 residents at The Elms. 

County social workers will now do this for residents at the Manor House care home near Ramsey which HC-One have also decided to close. 

The decision not to refer at this time any new residents will affect HC-One's remaining three care homes in Cambridgeshire – The Red House in Ramsey, The Cambridge in Chesterton and The Gables in Whittlesey. 

The Red House was recently rated ‘inadequate’ by the CQC following an inspection in August. 

Cllr Howitt added: “I’d like to reassure residents in other HC-One homes that we remain committed to making sure that they receive the standards of care that meet their need. 

“We will be continuing to monitor the performance of HC-One in these homes closely.”