Southern Cross clarifying future running of Stamford site

A MAJOR care home says it is clarifying the future of its homes after trading in its shares has ceased.

Southern Cross, which runs Priory Court Care Home in Priory Road, Stamford, has announced that all of the landlords of its 752 homes wish to leave the group.

The company has suspended its trading its shares and is expected to cease operating as a care home provider later this year.

Some landlords will be taking over the running of the homes while others are still finalising their plans.

It has not yet been announced who will be running Priory Court. There are 52 residents at Priory Court and the home has 60 workers.

A statement on the company’s website says: “Although still subject to the possibility of further change, it is currently envisaged that the existing group will cease to be an operator of homes at the end of the restructuring period.”

The firm says that approximately 250 homes will be transferred over to landlords who run care homes or have strong links to providers.

The remaining 502 landlords are finalising their plans for the running of the homes.

Chairman of Southern Cross, 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.”

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.”

The company held talks in June with landlords in a bid to defer 30 per cent of its monthly payments until September as it hoped to buy time for a re-structure.

Southern Cross, which runs Priory Court care home in Priory Road, Stamford, is holding talks with its landlords nationwide to defer an aggregate of 30 per cent of its monthly rent payments to September.