Southern Cross reveals job cuts

SOUTHERN Cross Healthcare, which runs three local care homes, has announced it is slashing 3,000 jobs in a bid to help it survive.

The revelation was made as the beleaguered firm seeks to safeguard its future although no further details about where the cuts will be made have been released.

Meanwhile a committee representing the 80 landlords who own the company’s care homes claim they have struck a short-term deal with bosses to secure the future of all of its homes until October.

But the jobs bombshell has been dropped amidst fevered speculation that the firm – which runs Cedars and Larches and Victoria Park in Ilkeston and Ladywood in Kirk Hallam – could still be forced to close up to a third of its 752 care homes once this emergency deal expires, with the total falling to around 500.

Bosses at Southern Cross have once again denied the claims and say ‘no decisions’ have been taken regarding the closure of any of its care homes and discussions were ongoing to ensure ‘continuity of care’ for all residents.

The company has also pledged that ‘no residents will find themselves homeless or without care’.

And the firm confirmed it was set to meet landlords and Government representatives as the Advertiser went to press in the hope of finding a long-term solution to the situation.

Southern Cross chairman Christopher Fisher apologised for the concern being caused to residents and their families by the situation.

He added: “Our primary concern in this matter remains the welfare of the residents living in our homes. The financial restructuring will not affect the provision of quality care in any of our homes.”

And a spokesman for Derbyshire County Council, which refers county residents to Southern Cross homes including the three in the Ilkeston area, said they were in close contact with bosses at the firm about the problems.

“It’s too early to say if any of the homes in Derbyshire will be affected,” she added.

“But we would expect to be told as soon as they have made a decision which would be done in consultation with us and other interested bodies.

“We certainly haven’t had any indications that any homes affected are in our area but if they were we would do our utmost to offer full support to affected residents.”