Care landlord NHP to run its homes itself

THE owner of a third of Southern Cross’ care homes is to take control of their operations and run them through a newly-formed management company, it said yesterday.

NHP, a property investor, had been expected to hire a care provider to continue running its 249 homes following the decision to break up Southern Cross’ estate. Instead NHP will partner with Court Cavendish, the healthcare turnaround firm founded by former Priory owner Chai Patel (pictured), to launch their own operating company.

Court Cavendish has advised NHP since January and will co-invest in the new management firm, which will retain all existing Southern Cross staff. The company should launch in four months’ time when Southern Cross winds down.

“The needs of those who currently live in these homes, and their families and carers, are a matter of the greatest importance to all of us advising those involved in this challenging situation,” Patel said.

“We hope that this announcement is the start of bringing to an end the uncertainty that residents, their families and staff in all the homes have had to endure over the last few months.”

NHP said it would use £28m of interest payments kept back from its lenders, with their consent, to ensure the operating company was financially robust.

Southern Cross, which cares for 31,000 elderly and disabled people in the UK, ceased trading last week after announcing that its landlords had approved the break up of its homes.