Southern Cross starts care homes sell-off

A third of Southern Cross care homes have been transferred to new operators, the company has announced.

Purchase agreements have been signed for 70 per cent of the group’s homes, and further transfers are scheduled for October and November.

The company intends to close once all its care homes have been transferred.

Chairman Christopher Fisher resigned, saying: “Now that the transfer of homes has commenced, I consider my role complete.”

The UK’s largest care home operator fell into difficulties when its income fell and it was unable to afford the rent on its properties.

Prior to the transfers it had 752 care homes with 31,000 residents.

Southern Cross has said that continuity of care for residents will be maintained.

‘Back office’ support will continue to be provided by HC-One, a company set up to operate the care homes of NHP, Southern Cross’ largest landlord.

“The demise of Southern Cross is a matter of considerable regret,” Fisher said.

He added that a number of staff would lose their jobs.