Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Britain is no country fo old men in Southern Cross care homes who are the casualties of private equity loan sharks
The Daily Mail an article today entitled :
Thousands could lose their care home this Christmas with 'lives at risk' as Southern Cross shuts down 752 homes to be handed to new operators or landlords
It made the following points, that the 31,000 old men and women who are residents in 500 Southern Cross care homes :
* have been left with no idea who could be running their homes and facing the possible trauma of moving.
* have not been given an assurance by the Prime Minister’s spokesman that they would be able to remain in their homes only one merely saying that they will not end up on the streets.
Ros Altmann, of over-50s group 'Saga', said :
" These people are not parcels in a warehouse, they are vulnerable people who stand to lose the stability of living in the home they have got used to.
Elderly people, who are often confused, often cannot cope with the trauma of moving –and that can kill them."
Judy Downey, of the 'Residents’ and Relatives’ Association', said :
"Just saying no one would be made homeless is no more than you would expect of an animal. What we want is for an assurance that people would receive the best care possible in the homes they are in."
The Paper's editorial comment made these poits, that :
* the bankruptcy of Southern Cross is a morality tale of our times.
* like the banks before it, the fortunes of the company were founded on a mountain of debt and the glib assumption that property prices would rise for ever.
* for 'Blackstone', the rapacious Manhattan-based private equity group which bought Southern Cross in 2004, it was truly a golden goose.
* by the time the group sold out in 2007, they had taken hundreds of millions of pounds out of the company, stripped its property assets and saddled it with crippling long-term rental obligations.
* as a result, come the credit crunch, the company simply buckled under the weight of its debts.
* such immoral profiteering by private equity sharks, provides ammunition to those who believe the private sector can’t be trusted to provide care for the elderly.
P.S. I had a posting about Southern Cross in June :