US Acadia, bought the Priory Group for 1.28 bn this year and now owns half of all mental services in England..
85% of The Priory Group income is now public money.
In 2015/16 it received over 250 million of NHS funds.
An expensive media and political campaign, heralded the solution to Winterbourne-the transfer of all patients in Public ATUs to private provision and the phasing out of public NHS inpatient beds.
Ignoring the elephant in the room of Winterbourne View being just such private provision.
So Acadia know they are onto a winner.
Acadia was backed by Advent International, one of the largest private equity investors, controlling €26 billion.
Advent was advised by Rothschild, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Numis and Freshfields on the transaction.
Joey Jacobs, Acadia’s chief executive, commented on the deal:
“We believe there will be a long-term increase in the need for independent sector support for inpatient behavioural health.”[This] will provide Acadia continuing long-term accretive organic growth and acquisition opportunities.”
Joey Jacobs received 8,241,847 dollars in salary, bonus and stock in 2015.
This was not the first buy out backed by Advent.
In 2011 The Priory Group, had been sold by RBS (then 84% publically owned), and Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman, and donor of the Conservative party to Advent International for 925m.
In 2007, Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative party donor, and his investment firm, Global Health Partners had paid around £45m for a 34pc stake in the company.
Scott was the chief executive of Southern Cross, the failed care home, during its rapid expansion using a sale and leaseback property arrangement.
Acadia operates a network of 258 behavioural healthcare facilities with over 9,900 beds.
Its Mental Health services include psychiatric and neuro-rehabilitation, the later remaining its biggest earner, generating revenue of £259.8m in 2014 (2013: £230.6).
Its Craegmoor specialist care, contributed £101m (2013: £93.2m), specialist education delivered £89.3m (2013: £91.1m) and its Amore Care homes for older people £70.5m (2013: £66.2m).
The Priory was once an expensive, exclusive haven for the rich and famous..
It thrived, and demanded in excess of £6,000 a week on the back of its excellent reputation for successful treatment and service.
But this was before the gold rush of NHS guaranteed public income without accountability
But The Priory still charges the NHS on average £6,ooo per week, but now the ‘clients’ are made captive by MHA section, and have no alternative ‘treatment’.
Since then it has been highly criticised , with many deaths and investigated by the CQC.
Now the Priory Group can, and do provide, any possibly mental health/ conduct disorder service. In four divisions – healthcare, education and children’s services, adult care and older people’s care – which together support the needs of more than 30,000 people every year.
The Group recently cashing in on the extremely lucrative Autism and Aspergers Education Industry.
This merger probably means that half of all our national mental health services are controlled by one of the largest international investment conglomerates.
As Acadia, have already bought Partnerships in Care, the largest NHS income receiver at £277,421,830 2013-15 in 2014 which meant Acadia now owns 50% of the UK Mental Health Market.
Four Seasons Healthcare Ltd, who received 111,668.446 NHS money, was sold to Terra Firma Capital Partners in 2012 for £825 millions.
In 2015 they sold £20 million of their properties to Monarch Alternative Capital, a US investment fund, which claims to specialise in swopping on ‘distressed and bankrupt’ companies.
The other two mental healthcare providers, NHS fund are Cygnet and St Andrews Healthcare .
So it would appear, all mental health services, bar these two charities are owned by just 4 venture capital investment groups.
Does this not effectively destroy any competition, bidding, and commissioning, for any. let alone the best services ?
Is this not an illegal, and dangerous monopoly ?
It surely would not have been allowed by the former Monopolies and Mergers committee.
The Competition and Marketing Committee did raise concerns and is investigating Acadia’s buy out of Priory Group.
‘There are relatively few private providers (and no public providers) for many of these services in England and Wales and, if the merger goes ahead, the incentives on providers to continue to supply the NHS with value for money services will reduce. Whilst quality of care is the main consideration when making referral decisions, cost is clearly another important factor when such services are funded by the public purse. The bargaining position of the NHS organisations and local authorities funding the treatment is stronger when they have a choice of providers.’
So, with a handful of different private providers, the ones that exist, can effectively charge what they like for their services, as there is no alternative, and these services are effectively unaccountable.
The perfect business model for maximum profit.
But, it appears Acadia can avoid investigation by a small ‘diversion’ of its assets and more million pound windfalls for tycoons from NHS funds.
The Priory Chief Executive has been named as the most influential independent health sector leader
He would be if he now effectively controls half the ‘sector’.
But should public services for our most vulnerable be reduced to the mercenary machinations of a maximum achievable profit ‘sector’?
Our government, has allowed, those in need to be bought, sold and asset stripped.
And, this has been facilitated by the legislation of all political parties .
The plan hatched over 20 years ago, has now come to fruition- monopoly, unaccountable venture capital public service provision, with captive, mainly enforced, secret consumers.
Paid for by huge amounts of public money on the back of ‘cost cutting’.
This is not capitalism, as there is no competition, no free market, and no accountability, and a secure stream of increasing public income.
This is totalitarian extortion of our money, our services, and our people, for huge profits.