BKR Care Consultancy has appointed Charlie Jones as chief operating officer after working for the company for 10 years.
Chai Patel (pictured) is retiring as chairman of national care home provider HC-One on 31 October but will continue to be an active investor and substantial stakeholder in the company.
Patel founded the company in 2011, serving as chairman throughout its history and as chief executive between March 2015 and September 2017.
HC-One was founded after the Southern Cross care business collapsed, and initially ran 241 care homes employing 14,000. Today it is the UK’s largest elderly care provider, operating 329 care homes and employing more than 23,000 staff.
Patel was succeeded as chief executive by Justin Hutchens in 2017 and the company says it intends to fill the chairman role with an experienced UK-based non-executive chairman with skills and experiences complimentary to Hutchens’.
Patel said today: “In September 2019 I will be 65 years old. It will be the right time for me and my family for me to step back from my role as chairman in this amazing business. I graduated as a doctor in the summer of 1979 and in the ensuing 40 years, I have spent 35 hugely enjoyable years working in health and social care. Founding and leading HC-One has been the privilege of a lifetime.
He added that stepping in after the failure of Southern Cross was the biggest challenge of his career.
“Southern Cross was a company in crisis with thousands of vulnerable elderly people at risk of losing their home, and thousands of jobs also on the line. Thanks to the inimitable hard work, commitment, and shared values of my colleagues across the company down the years, we have developed a culture committed to kindness which puts resident welfare at the heart of everything we do at HC-One.
“I founded HC-One to deliver the kindest care in the UK and I am so proud of what we have achieved. I want today to thank publicly every single member of staff with whom I have worked since 2011. Kind care depends on those who deliver it and I have been humbled by the dedication of my colleagues every day since HC-One began.”
Hutchens praised Patel’s “monumental and everlasting impact” on the UK care home sector, saying: “Chai put us on the road towards our objective of being the first-choice provider for residents and the employer of choice for the kindest staff in every community we serve. My colleagues and I look forward over the coming months to thanking him and suitably marking his retirement. I share Chai’s confidence in this management team as we move forward from a position of strength to continue to deliver on our promise of kindness.”