Care home operator Southern Cross has confirmed that it is to close down after the landlords of its properties abandoned the company.
The group, which has 752 homes and 31,000 residents, has been locked in negotiations over a restructuring of the group’s property arrangements, but following the landlords’ decision it is now working on a plan to facilitate the transition of homes to new landlords and their new operators.
Southern Cross said that, to ensure continuity of care to residents, all payments to trade creditors are to be maintained and all home-based staff transferred on their current terms.
It added that it is expected the existing group will cease to be an operator of homes at the end of the restructuring period. The company’s shares have been suspended with immediate effect.
A number of landlords, who are also operators of care homes, have indicated they intend to take over the running or have found new operators for 250 out of the 752 homes and will start to transfer operations shortly.
Landlords of the other 502 homes are said to be finalising their plans.
Some may require operational management and back office support, Southern Cross said, but once the restructuring period is over it anticipates it will “cease to be an operator of homes”.
Chief executive Jamie Buchan said: “My objective, and that of my team, is to continue to provide excellent care to every resident and to manage the programme of transition professionally.
“All 44,000 staff can take pride from the significant operational turnaround and improvements in care delivery which have been achieved over the past two years.”