Chai Patel: social care is ‘an essential public good’

Few entrepreneurs would cheerfully accept state control of the prices they charge, let alone call for it to be imposed. But then Dr Chai Patel is no conventional businessman – and these are desperate days for the social care sector in which he is a key player.

“I’d be very happy if the government wanted to have a price regulator, like we have in utilities, because this service is a public good, an essential public good,” says Patel, chairman and acting chief executive of HC-One, one of the leading care home chains. “Let’s have somebody tell us the fair margin that you should make in this sector and then see if we can, open-book, confirm that we’re doing that but no more than that.”

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