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MSPs worry about a possible future without Southern Cross

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:00 GMT on Thursday, July 14th, 2011.

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THE news that the landlords, owning Care Homes in the Southern Cross Group, have decided that they want to leave the group, after negotiations brought down on Wednesday, has evoked the reactions of MSPs Jamie Hepburn and Margaret Mitchell.
The Southern Cross Group, which has over 750 Homes across the UK, with one in Cumbernauld Village, is the biggest Care Home Operator, in the country, and recent financial constraints have caused major headaches for the firm; which has over 37,000 Residents and 41,000 members of staff.
Trading in the company's shares has been suspended and it is widely believed and feared that the existing Care Home Operator will no longer be able to provide care or operate its homes, in the future.

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In a press comment released by Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP, Jamie Hepburn, two weeks ago, Jamie said: “There has been understandable concern and uncertainty following publicity about Southern Cross’ financial situation. The company has stated clearly that no care homes will close during the period of restructuring, and I am now seeking clarification about how the Southern Cross Care Home in Cumbernauld Village will be affected by this process.

“Nicola Sturgeon has already made it clear to reassure residents of Southern Cross homes and their families that the Scottish Government wants to ensure continuity of care for all residents, and that it is taking all necessary steps to make sure that Southern Cross residents remain in their current care homes.”
Also commenting on the unsettling news, Central Scotland MSP, Margaret Mitchell, said: “These are yet more concerning developments which will cause a great deal of anxiety and distress to elderly residents and their families. Many vulnerable older people face uncertainty about the future of these homes and this announcement will only serve to increase their apprehension about the future.

“Given the cross-border nature of Southern Cross it is vital the Scottish Government works closely with the UK Government and establishes a joined up approach. Our number one concern must be establishing a secure future for the many vulnerable older people affected in the Central region and throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

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