A Stevenston-based care at home company has been placed into liquidation after racking up more than half-a-million-pounds worth of debt.

Assist Homecare Scotland Ltd, which has its main office in Stevenston industrial estate and provides support services to vulnerable adults throughout North Ayrshire, was co-founded in 2011 by Christine Wilson Weir, who has gone on to become sole owner.

The business provides public and private homecare for more than 40 patients, including personal, social and overnight care, to service users across the region.

However, the company has suffered from financial stress with a build-up of debt due to HM Revenue and Customs.

Last Friday (July 29), Ken Pattullo and Kenny Craig of Begbies Traynor were appointed as joint liquidators.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Thomas McKay, a partner at liquidators Begbies TraynorThomas McKay, a partner at liquidators Begbies Traynor

Thomas McKay, a partner at Begbies Traynor in Scotland, said: “We are currently working with the key stakeholders including HMRC, North Ayrshire Council, the Care Inspectorate and the company staff, to ensure continued delivery of care to patients.

"We are seeking to ensure continuity of care for vulnerable clients who rely on support and this is our priority in these difficult circumstances."

The most recent accounts, published by Companies House in November 2021, show that Assist Homecare owed £331,327 to creditors in the year up to March 31, 2020.

A further £184,194 was outstanding from the previous 12 months, adding up to a total debt of more than £515,000.

The financial statement said more than £17,000 was owed in bank loans and overdrafts, plus more than £258,000 in taxation and social security for 2019/20.

The average number of employees during that financial year was 49, down from 58 the previous year.

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “We are working closely with the appointed liquidators for Assist Homecare (Scotland) Ltd to ensure continuity of care for service users and to provide support to employees.

“Service users and representatives have been contacted individually to advise of the situation and provide reassurance that we are working to ensure minimal disruption to their care.

“We are currently in talks with Assist Homecare staff to enable those who wish to take up an offer of employment with North Ayrshire Council to do so. This process is expected to be completed by today (Wednesday, August 3).

"From Thursday, August 4 onwards, the services will be wholly provided by North Ayrshire HSCP. This will allow us to ensure the care needs of service users can continue to be met in the immediate future and to protect the jobs for the affected staff.

“We know this will be a difficult and upsetting time for service users, their families and Assist Homecare staff, and our main priority at this time is to ensure the safety and well-being of those previously cared for by Assist Homecare, as well as supporting the employment and financial security of the workforce.”