Care home handed back to landlords

White Rose Lodge Care Centre'North Marine Drive'PA1123-2
White Rose Lodge Care Centre'North Marine Drive'PA1123-2

THE White Rose Lodge care home in Bridlington will no longer be run by troubled care provider Southern Cross, and will be handed back to landlords.

According to the GMB union, the 28 room care home on Limekiln Lane will be handed back to landlords Rockingham Estates Limited, which operate from an address in Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

This comes after landlords at all 752 homes operated by the troubled care provider backed out of a deal which would have seen Southern Cross carry on providing care while paying reduced amounts of rent.

A statement from Southern Cross explained that a committee of landlords was set up to agree the best way forward for affected homes.

Landlords this week indicated their intention to leave the group, leaving Southern Cross to plan how and when the homes will be handed back to landlords and, where appropriate, their new operators.

Nobody at Southern Cross, or the White Rose, could make a comment as to when the responsibility of care for residents at the White Rose would change hands, although in their statement Southern Cross added that they would ensure continuity of care to residents, maintain all payments to trade creditors and transfer all staff on their current terms. Christopher Fisher, Chairman of Southern Cross, 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.”

Jamie Buchan, Chief Executive, 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.”

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said: “Southern Cross may be on it’s last legs but for Southern Cross’s 31,000 residents and 43,000 staff this looks like a case of ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’. These 80 landlords (taking back homes across the country) are a rag-bag bunch whose number includes overseas interests, tax dodgers and in some case ‘identity still unknown’. Many themselves are in financial difficulties.

“All this spells months more uncertainty and worry for residents and staff. Where is government in this care scandal?”