A CARE company which was at the centre of an undercover exposé in York is to close - with 22 jobs going in to consultation.

Carewatch, which has York offices based in James Street, was criticised over its treatment of the elderly in a BBC Panorama programme after an undercover reporter for Panorama said that her training comprised only four 20-minute DVDs and a 90-minute tutorial before she was declared fit for work.

The reporter said staff were overworked and on one occasion she did not get to a client’s home until 1am, by which time the person had gone to sleep, and the carers had no way of knowing if they were okay or not.

After the programme aired in 2009, City of York Council confirmed it would not be renewing its contract with the organisation.

Carewatch has now said it will be closing its York office with most work moving to a new provider. It said it would endeavour to make sure none of its staff would be left out of work.

A spokesperson for Carewatch said: "It is with regret that Carewatch Care Services Ltd is currently consulting with twenty two staff on the proposal to close its York office.

"Carewatch hope that no jobs will be lost because most of its work will transfer to another provider. The staff members, who deliver those services, have the opportunity to transfer to a new employer without any detriment to their terms and conditions. The customers currently receiving care from Carewatch will continue to receive care under another provider.

"We will endeavour to ensure continuation of employment for staff wherever possible.

"The Care Quality Commission and the local authority are aware and all of our affected customers have been written to and informed about this situation.

"Our plans will ensure a safe and effective transfer of all customers currently receiving care under our provision."

After the Panorama show was screened, Carewatch said the show did not provide a balanced view and that a client satisfaction survey showed most service users were happy with the support they were given.