Southern Cross proposes 3,000 job cuts

Southern Cross sign Southern Cross said the quality of care provided to its 31,000 residents would not be jeopardised

Related Stories

Southern Cross, the troubled care home provider, has announced proposals to cut 3,000 jobs out of its workforce of 44,000 staff.

The company said home managers, deputy managers, relief managers, activity co-ordinators and administrators would not be directly affected.

Southern Cross said it expected the cuts to be completed by October, after a period of consultation with unions.

Unions called for the government to step in with financial support.

Southern Cross has already deferred 30% of its rent to landlords of its 750 homes as it tries to avoid bankruptcy.

The Darlington-based company's current rent payments total about £180m a year.

Last month, it reported half-year losses of £311m and warned that it was in a "critical financial condition".

'Kick in the teeth'

"In today's announcement we are engaging with colleagues to put in place the best possible staffing model for our future needs, and one which fully embraces the best practice available to us," said Southern Cross chief executive Jamie Buchan.

The company said the job reductions were part of an ongoing programme of change, instigated by its senior management team 18 months ago.

It said the cuts would not jeopardise the quality of care provided to its 31,000 residents, but this was disputed by unions.

"The care sector is hugely labour intensive, and there is no doubt that job losses on this scale will mean elderly people in Southern Cross homes get a lower standard of care and some homes may be at risk of closure," said Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "This is the start of a disaster for the residents as well as a kick in the teeth for the staff.

"The is the trigger for the government to step in with immediate financial support to ensure that Southern Cross continues to operate and continues to provide a home for 31,000 elderly and vulnerable residents."

Judy Downey, chair of the Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA), a national charity for the welfare of older people in care, also called for government action.

"We cannot just sit back and allow frail, vulnerable people to suffer, we want to see the government taking emergency action to safeguard these residents who are all at risk - even if that means taking over the assets of these homes and running them as a going concern," she said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • HandshakeKiss and make up

    A marriage counsellor on healing the referendum hurt


  • Pellet of plutoniumRed alert

    The scary element that helped save the crew of Apollo 13


  • Burnt section of the Umayyad Mosque in the old city of AleppoBefore and after

    Satellite images reveal Syria's heritage trashed by war


  • Woman on the phone in office10 Things

    The most efficient break is 17 minutes, and more nuggets


  • Amir TaakiDark market

    The bitcoin wallet with controversial users


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.