Council backs stricken Southern Cross homes

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TOWN Hall chiefs have moved to allay fears about the future of two local care homes owned by troubled private firm Southern Cross.

In a letter to residents of Lymewood Court, Haydock, and Shevington Court, Rainhill, St Helens Council pledged its support to ensure that any change in care provision is completed without disruption.

There were growing concerns for the St Helens residents who are currently residing at a Southern Cross home after it emerged the company was facing financial meltdown following a long-running dispute over its rent with its parent company, Qatari Investment Authority (QIA). And there were also fears that countrywide 3,000 job losses could be anounced if the care homes were not saved.

Now, while any transfer will be overseen by the Care Quality Commission, the council says it will also seek assurances that high standards of care are maintained.

The authority is increasing its monitoring of both homes to ensure that quality is maintained during any transition process.

Councillor Joe Pearson, St Helens Council’s cabinet member of adult social care and health, said: “While these homes are not the responsibility of the council, we are offering our support to make sure that any changes go smoothly and with no disruption in care for the residents.

“We have developed a contingency plan to manage any unforeseen difficulties and will liaise closely with health services if and when necessary.”