A care home operator in Northern Ireland has gone into administration.
Care Circle and Slemish Homes, which are part of the Dunmurry-headquartered Care Circle Group, own and operate three homes and manage a fourth.
The facilities owned by the companies are Braefield in Connor, Slemish in Ballymena and Kingsway in Dunmurry. They also operate the Fairfields home in Cookstown.
Peter Allen from Deloitte has been appointed administrator.
However, assurances have been offered that all of the homes will continue to operate as normal and no job losses are planned.
The administrator intends to sell the homes as going concerns and Mr Allen said it would be “business as usual” until a buyer, or buyers, is identified.
The homes owned and operated by the companies employ 310 permanent and agency staff.
Mr Allen said the businesses have been placed into administration to enable continued trading.
He added: “All necessary steps have been taken to ensure the existing standard of care remains in place at the homes.
“We are operating closely with the regulator and the Trusts and we will be meeting residents and their families to explain the purpose of the administration and to provide comfort that there will be no material difference in how the homes operate.”
TUV MLA Jim Allister said he was “deeply concerned” that the businesses had entered administration.
“I very much hope that a buyer can be found and that both the residents and staff will have certainty about their future,” he said.
The North Antrim Assembly man also claimed the move highlighted the need for the Department of Health to reverse its ban on new admissions to statutory residential care homes.
“This development underscores the folly of running down Pinewood statutory home (in Ballymena) on the assumption that the private sector can pick up the slack,” he added.
Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann said the move would “no doubt cause a great deal of concern” for both residents and staff at the affected homes.
But he added: “I welcome the fact that the administrator has said there are no plans to cut any jobs at these homes.
“They must now make it a priority to meet with residents affected by this and allay any fears they may have over their futures.”