Care homes giant Four Seasons which runs a number of homes in Oxfordshire has collapsed into administration.

The troubled care firm is one of the country’s largest private care home operators and runs 250 residential and nursing homes in the UK, including the Headington Care Home in Roosevelt Drive and Triangle Care Home in Wheatley.

Professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) have been appointed as administrators and will aim to handle the sale of the group which serves around 17,000 residents and patients, and employs roughly 20,000 staff.

However, bosses at the firm, which has debts in excess of £500m, have insisted that the appointment of administrators would not result in any change to care arrangements or closure of homes.

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Dr Claire Royston, Group Medical Director of Four Seasons Health Care, commented: “Today’s news does not change the way we operate or how our homes are run or prompt any change for residents, families, employees and indeed suppliers.

“Our priority remains to deliver consistently good care. It marks the latest stage in the Group’s restructuring process and allows us to move ahead with an orderly, independent sales process.”

Richard Fleming, joint administrator of Elli Investments Limited and Elli Finance (UK) Plc (holding companies only) added: “We are committed to ensuring the Group delivers continuity of care as we work to undertake the independent sales process.

“The Group has continued to improve its quality ratings across their portfolio of homes and hospitals.

“The Group’s operations are fundamentally strong and a successful sales process will enhance those operations’ ability to thrive.”

It is the largest failure in the care home sector since Southern Cross collapsed in 2011.