Southern Cross care home operator closing - it has 15 homes in Norfolk
Care home operator Southern Cross is to close down after the landlords of its properties abandoned the company.
The firm is responsible for 15 homes in Norfolk, four in Suffolk and seven in Cambridgeshire,
The company's Norfolk care homes include The Hawthorns in Unthank Road, Norwich, Alexander Court in Raymond Street, Thetford, Briar House in King's Lynn and Swaffham's Iceni House Care Home.
The group, which overall has 752 homes and 31,000 residents, has been locked in negotiations over a restructuring of the group's property arrangements, but following the landlords' decision it is now working on a plan to facilitate the transition of homes to new landlords and their new operators.
Southern Cross said that, to ensure continuity of care to residents, all payments to trade creditors are to be maintained and all home-based staff transferred on their current terms.
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It added that it is expected the existing group will cease to be an operator of homes at the end of the restructuring period. The company's shares have been suspended with immediate effect.
A number of landlords, who are also operators of care homes, have indicated they intend to take over the running or have found new operators for 250 out of the 752 homes and will start to transfer operations shortly.
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Landlords of the other 502 homes are said to be finalising their plans.
Some may require operational management and back office support, Southern Cross said, but once the restructuring period is over it anticipates it will 'cease to be an operator of homes'.
Shareholders will get nothing back, it added, with shares suspended on the Stock Exchange today.
Chief executive Jamie Buchan said: 'My objective, and that of my team, is to continue to provide excellent care to every resident and to manage the programme of transition professionally.
'All 44,000 staff can take pride from the significant operational turnaround and improvements in care delivery which have been achieved over the past two years.'
List of Norfolk homes also include: Badgers Wood, Drayton, near Norwich. Blofield Road, Brundall. Diamond House, Downham Market. Dussindale Park, Thorpe St Andrew. Felmingham Old Rectory. Fryers Walk, Thetford. Hillcrest, Thorpe, near Norwich. Mary Chapman Court, Dussindale, Thorpe St Andrew. St Germans House, King's Lynn. Woodland, Hellesdon, near Norwich. Woodlands, Thetford. Cambridgeshire homes include Dove Court and Strathmore House, both in Wisbech.