OAP homeless fears continue

NILALM110127C1 - Ceders and Larches care home Ilkeston
NILALM110127C1 - Ceders and Larches care home Ilkeston

A TROUBLED care home operator, with three homes in Ilkeston, has denied it is planning to close 200 homes across the country because of crippling debt problems.

Southern Cross, the country’s largest care home operator, runs 752 homes across the UK, including Cedars and Larches, Victoria Park and Ladywood in Ilkeston.

NILALM110127C2 - Victoria Park  care home Ilkeston

NILALM110127C2 - Victoria Park care home Ilkeston

It was forced to slash its rent bill two weeks ago by 30 per cent for the next three months to avoid bankruptcy – and the national media has claimed it is also considering selling up to 200 homes.

This has led to further concerns among the firm’s 31,000 residents and their families who have been facing an uncertain future for months since te problems first came to light.

Ken Holland, whose father Jack, 102, lives at Ladywood Nursing Home in Kirk Hallam, is one of those worrying about the future.

“I have been thinking, shall I move him?” he said.

NILALM110127C3 - Ladywood care home Kirk Hallam

NILALM110127C3 - Ladywood care home Kirk Hallam

“But the trouble is he likes it where he is.

“He’s got his favourite seating arrangements, his own room.

“But then perhaps it might be all sorted out in a few months. That’s the big problem for me.”

Since the speculation started, company bosses have moved to reassure more than 100 elderly residents in Ilkeston and their families, that they will not be evicted.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Southern Cross Healthcare would like to confirm that it has no plans for a large scale closure of homes, as some media continue to claim.

“The company is in the early stages of its financial restructuring which it intends to complete at the end of the summer.

“All stakeholders involved in the process agree that the priority is, and remains, the continuity of care. We remain committed to providing high quality care to all of our 31,000 Residents in our homes.

“It is business as usual at Southern Cross.”

The GMB union urged the Government to intervene during its annual conference in Brighton on Tuesday.

But Derbyshire County Council is continuing to refer county residents to Southern Cross care homes and said they were ‘in correspondence with Southern Cross representatives on a local level’.

The Advertiser first reported Southern Cross’s financial troubles in March.