Southern Cross: A View
07 July 2011
It has been sobering to watch and listen to the troubles of Southern Cross. It is never good to see such a large company in trouble even if the problems are of its own making. However, Southern Cross has responsibility for over 30,000 older people in its care homes around the country and the fear and concern the company's difficulties must be spreading amongst residents, staff and families will be considerable.
Much has been written about the role the private sector should play in the delivery of care to older people and similarly the responsibility that the regulatory authorities have to monitor that standard of care. I would suggest the problems are neither about quality of service nor the people delivering it but about the greed of corporate financiers looking to earn significant amounts of money without knowledge or reference to the sector within which they are operating.
I am not the greatest fan of the traditional care home model believing that independent living in a village setting with care available on demand and on the terms of the user is a far preferable solution. However, the staff of Southern Cross should not be blamed for the follies of the investors.