“Southern Cross Shadow”

Eighteen months ago, the Southern Cross Nursing and Residential Care Group was in the headlines every day (see “SOUTHERN CROSS” in the TAG CLOUD for earlier blogs).

They were up to their necks in debt and in danger of imminent collapse.   After a poker game of bluff and counter bluff with their bankers, the regulator and the Government – all of whom stood by with their hands firmly in their pockets – they did collapse.

But the debts did not go away, they just transferred to the property landlords, who were operators themselves.    The three biggest are:-

  • Four Seasons with 445 homes;   22,364 residents   and £525m debt
  • NHP                 with 236 homes;   12,683 residents   and £1.8b debt
  • Care UK           with 87 homes;   5,540 residents   and £480m debt

The financial model still stands on very thin ice, buoyed up only by the growing numbers of frail older people, especially those with dementia.   With such pressure on debt repayment and new referrals only coming from “critical and substantial” cases, you have to wonder how long it will be before there is another scandal about quality in residential care.   Fees are still being tightly controlled by social services and Central Government.  Staff in the main are on minimum wages and homes operate at minimum staffing levels.

Have we just shoved 40,000 vulnerable old people under the carpet ?

southerncrosshadow (2)

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2 Responses to “Southern Cross Shadow”

  1. This is a worrying figure and if personally involved very distressing. I have tried to latch onto data bases for the UK ageed, and find it difficult to comtemplate meaning figures.
    I have found that the UK population is 63.2 Million persons, of that 16.4% are over 60 giving a number of 6.7millions.
    So I deduce we have in the UK we have 6.7 million pensioners and of that proportion how many of us meet our maker without going into some form of care, or more secure surronds such as a residential home/retirement village.
    Of the 6.7 million how many fall into the catogary needing senial dementia or alzheirs care? or how many statisically are diagonosed who need help under the mental health acts?
    Back to the 40.000 in the offing care homes above, yes they are swept under the carpet, and should be cared for and coseetted. However if we all need care and for how long? as individualls, can anyone give out such statistics?? It is frightening and worrying? And Can the NHS and the social welfare benifits cope with 6.7million of us?
    Some one some where has to lead and give a reasonable gudance as to what IF?? In the meantime JOhn as you say we all have to look after our seves as individuals-But not at the expense of the bankers or government treating the old as infirmed old codgers as money cows and raiding their assets without recouse to some level of fair play and justice.
    We need wise heads and wiser actions in government and politics to take us through this minefield.
    The politics of envy and class will no longer suffice, we need genuine care and respect for each of us as UK Citezens, and the ability to discuss the outcome in a responsible but fairer manner.

  2. davidwfreeman237 says:

    Update in This Sunday’s Daily Telegraph Business Pages-Page 1: Payout to the board of directors, who currentlty own/manage Southern Cross. It is difficult to draw any conclusions form this press release, other than the Southern Cross FREEHOLD for their individual Care Homes, is registered and controlled by a certain set of directors, who are now thinking of selling on the frehold to an ‘American Care Company, alledgely to reinvest in Southern Cross Care Homes? This remains to be seen. As Originally believed what happens to all those residents in occupation, and their estates. Is this a more to relieve the occupants and families of more of their pensions/income? Do the elderly residents have a say?
    With the government cutting back on welfare/NHS and social support who cares for the elderly? Is this a rip off, or a genuine social investment to help the elderly of the UK and the Southern Cross Residents in particular? I wonder?

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