Castlebeck has been bought by fellow learning disability provider Danshell in a deal that will protect 850 jobs and that is designed to save the former Winterbourne View owner’s 20 services.
The deal comes six months after Castlebeck went into administration after building up debts of over £250m that it could no longer service. This came almost two years after the organisation was rocked by the exposure of abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View, a hospital in Bristol that subsequently closed.
Prior to acquiring Castlebeck, Danshell ran 16 services across England and Scotland for young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism or mental health problems.
After becoming Castlebeck’s preferred bidder in the Spring, Danshell acquisition of Castlebeck’s facilities had to gain regulatory approval from the Care Quality Commission in England, and the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland north of the border.
The deal is expected to ensure that the 20 hospitals, care homes and rehabilitation units for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs ran by Castlebeck remain open. They current support 180 service users.
Following the Winterbourne View scandal, a new management team were appointed at Castlebeck to turn round the organisation, a process widely deemed to have been successful. Before going into administration, none of its services in England had any outstanding regulatory issues with the CQC.
“The completion of the transfer of assets, undertakings and operations to Danshell represents the culmination of several months’ effort, during which period the care and social needs of the patients and residents have remained of paramount importance,” said joint administrator Daniel Smith, of accountancy firm Grant Thornton. “We would like to thank all the doctors, clinicians, nurses, carers and administrative staff of Castlebeck for their support during this period as without their considerable efforts this outcome would not have been possible.”