Southern Cross Landlords Miss Deadline

17 Aug 2011

GMB, the union for Southern Cross staff, was informed yesterday that landlords of the Southern Cross care homes have missed the first deadline that was set for them to take over the homes and appoint new operators. All landlords were due on 1st August to appoint new operators for the 750 homes which house 31,000 elderly and vulnerable residents and employ 42,500 staff.

At a meeting yesterday Southern Cross managers told GMB that they were unable to provide a list as some landlords had yet to appoint new operators and no definite deadline has been fixed.
GMB was told by the company on 13th July 2011 that the deadlines for the transfers were as follows:

  * The first 250 Homes could conclude their transfer by 30/9/11. The timetable for the remainder is by 31/10/11. When the process of transfer is complete, “Southern Cross will be wound down”.

  * It in was not known then which homes will go to which operators. All landlords are expected to make their decision on their future operator by 1st August 2011.

Justin Bowden “The shambles that is Southern Cross rumbles on because apparently the landlords still cannot get their act together after pulling the plug last month on Southern Cross. Quite why the landlords as the owners of the buildings should be running the show is as mysterious as it is unacceptable. Surely national government and elected councillors, on behalf of the taxpayer who fund 80% of the bills, should be in driving seat – not the backseat drivers who merely own the buildings.

When will the uncertainty for residents and staff be brought to an end?  This is not a widget factory transferring production from one manufacturer to another, this is the homes of the most vulnerable and dependent in our society and they and those who look after them deserve to be treated better.

If the landlords don’t pull their fingers out, or government doesn’t take a hand, the deadline for the transfer of these operations will not be met and the worry and uncertainty for residents, their families and the staff will not be lifted.  It is also high time the landlords and their chosen operators got round the table with the GMB and talked about the future of these homes.

Meanwhile QIA seeks to tip toe away from NHP which it owns and which in turn owns 250 care homes used by Southern Cross which drown in a sea of debts taken out by QIA to pay for these homes. This is both rotten and immoral. QIA should pay off the bondholders at NHP and free these care homes of these debts dragging them down.

Instead the QIA has no shame. It paid £1.5 billion for Harrods. Now QIA are seeking to acquire the Olympic Village for a very large sum. This QIA acquisition should be called in until QIA wipes the slate at NHP. That is the very least the 31,000 residents in Southern Cross deserve”.