Assurances sought

AS REPORTED last week, both Angus Council and NHS Tayside are closely monitoring the fragile financial situation at care homes operator Southern Cross.

The company has two homes in Arbroath, Cairnie Lodge and Lunan Court.

And on Thursday, Angus South MSP Graeme Dey spoke with Angus Council chief executive Richard Stiff to seek reassurances over the situation.

Mr Dey said: “I have had discussions with chief executive Richard Stiff with regard to Southern Cross Care homes located within Angus South seeking clarification of their contingency plans should the company’s financial problems worsen.

“I am re-assured that the council is not only on the case, but very much on the same wavelength as the Scottish Government.

“The council’s priority would be to keep people settled in the locations they are currently in and familiar with and they would be hoping to work with the relevant parties to secure that outcome.”

Mr Dey continued: “At a time of uncertainty for those affected by Southern Cross’s problems, it is good to know that Angus Council, like the Scottish Government, sees minimising disruption and distress as the number one priority.”

He concluded: “I will continue to liaise with Angus Council but commend them for their preparedness should this unfortunate situation deteriorate further.”

And on Wednesday Southern Cross announced it had reached a potential turning point in their fortunes after meeting with the landlords’ committee.

The move saw Southern Cross, lenders and the landlords reach an agreement that would safeguard the care of their 31,000 residents.

The company also revealed that they had agreed to cut rent payments by 30 per cent in order to ease their financial burden.

However, it is expected that an as yet unknown number of landlords will depart Southern Cross and run their care homes independently, leaving the provider a much smaller company.