Southern Cross set to shut down

Southern Cross is to stop running care homes after all its landlords said they wanted to leave the group.

Southern Cross is to stop running care homes after all its landlords said they wanted to leave the group.

In a statement released today, the ailing operator said: “All landlords have indicated, through the restructuring committee, their intention to leave the group.”

“It is currently envisaged that the existing group will cease to be an operator of homes at the end of the restructuring period.” 

Southern Cross said that 250 care homes will be transferred back to landlords who are themselves operators, such as Four Seasons, while new operators will take over the running of the remaining portfolio.

Landlords responsible for these homes are currently finalising their plans, but it is likely the group’s current operational management will help run these homes, said Southern Cross, which added that the landlords were committed to maintaining continuity of care.

All care home staff will be transferred to their new operators on their current terms, the statement added.

Trading in the company’s shares has been suspended.

Chairman Christopher Fisher said: “We are now able to begin clarifying the arrangements for the future operation of our homes.  The process of change on which we are now embarking involves considerable effort on the part of our management and staff and their commitment and loyalty is much appreciated.
“We anticipate that the period of uncertainty which we have been experiencing will now draw to a close.  We regret the loss of value which shareholders have experienced.”

English Community Care Association chief executive Martin Green said he was “confident that there will be a managed transition to new ownership”.

“When the situation has stabilised we must look forensically at what were the underlying causes of this business failure, and through intelligent commissioning and appropriate resourcing we can ensure a vibrant and sustainable social care sector,” he added. “Residential provision has the potential not only to deliver long-term care, but also to support sub-acute and reablement services.  The future must be about proper funding and a dynamic and responsive business model that bridges the interface between health and social care.”



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