Kirkcaldy care firm collapse: Boss blames Fife Council

The boss of a care firm that collapsed has blamed the council.
The boss of a care firm that collapsed has blamed the council.

The director of a Kirkcaldy care firm which collapse last night, as blamed Fife Council, saying the local authority owes the firm thousands.

Paramount Care Agency, based at Mitchelston Industrial Estate, told staff in an email from director Ruth Smyth that the company would cease trading, and blamed Fife Council for the closure.

Have you been affected by this closure? Are you a staff member or service user? click here to get in touch.

According to the Care Inspectorate report from December 2018, Paramount Care had 18 care staff, supporting about 60 people at any one time. The service is managed by a manager, a care manager, a rota coordinator and the human resources administrator. The firm provides support service and care to the elderly and disabled.

One staff member, who did not wish to be named, said: “We all received a call, from the office manager at 3pm yesterday saying that an email would be sent out and to make sure we read it.

“By 5.10pm, we all had this ridiculous email from Ruth Smyth.

“We got the email stating that we wouldn’t be receiving any money. We had carers out working last night.

“The company shut at 10pm last night, so there are clients out there today who are being neglected, because Fife Council can’t put care in place until tomorrow.

“There was a lady that was going to be stuck in a chair all night, but two of the carers, who weren’t even allocated to her, went out off their own backs to make sure the woman was put to her bed.

“Apparently a lot of the clients were very distraught.

“The office manager was completely unaware until she got a phonecall from Ruth just before 3pm.

“It’s left me in a bad position I’ve got four children at home and won’t be receiving my last wage or any other money that’s due.

“I had worked a lot of hours and taking the on-call phone, so I should have been getting a good wage next week. I was supposed to have been paid next Friday. But that’s gone, holiday pay, everything.

“Apparently the accounts are empty.”

The email sent to staff by Ruth Smyth, which has been seen by the Fife Free Press, blames the closure on Fife Council, and says the local authority owes the firm “thousands”.

It read: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that after 19 years trading as Paramount Care Agency Limited, I am closing the doors of the company.

“Fife Council owes us a great deal of money outstanding from years ago, and are reluctant to pay up.

“We were taking them to court but it is going to cost £1000s to do that, which the agency doesn’t have.

“I have been propping the company up financially to ensure you all get paid, but I can no longer do that.

“When I retired, I said I would not get the company to take out a loan to pay me for my shares, but would take back the money due over five years.

“I am owed £120,000. I will have to live with that loss.

“I would like to thank and praise you all for the work you have done over the years.

“I am really sorry I can no longer pay you for the work you do.”

The email continues: “I had to speak to lawyers and liquidation specialists earlier today.

“Talks are going on for another company to take on the private clients, and I will update you as to what is going on there, as they are interested in taking on Paramount Care staff to do this.

“I am truly sorry it has come to this.”

Fife Council have been approached for comment.

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