Alex questions Ministers about Southern Cross crisis

The plight of thousands of elderly people in homes run by the huge Southern Cross Care Homes organisation including hundreds in the Stockton Borough was raised during Health Questions in the House of Commons by local MP Alex Cunningham today.

There are five Southern Cross Care Homes in Stockton North and across the country 31,000 elderly and vulnerable residents are cared for by the organisation. Fears have been growing for the future of the loss-making company, which has said it will have to reduce the rent it pays its landlords and that it needs to raise £100 million from the money markets to restructure its business.

Alex said:

“This is a worrying time for people who call Southern Cross Care Homes their home. I was keen to ask Ministers at the Department for Health what they were doing to protect those people, including those in my own constituency.”

“The Minister said the Government’s paramount concern is the residents and that they are working closely with others to ensure Southern Cross remains in business. Sadly he didn’t guarantee the government would step in and take decisive action to protect them if the company goes bust preferring instead to pass the buck to local authorities who they say have responsibility for the care of the elderly.”

“Southern Cross won’t win any medals for managing their self-made crisis and I intend to write to them today seeking reassurance about the welfare of residents in their Homes in Stockton North. I know this must be a very difficult time for those people, their friends and families and they are entitled to answers.”