Care homes deal struck

NBEN110606d2, Kilburn care home, Dale road, Kilburn
NBEN110606d2, Kilburn care home, Dale road, Kilburn

THE FUTURE of a Kilburn care home for the elderly has been secured until October after its crisis-hit owners struck a deal with its landlords.

Kilburn Care Centre, on Dale Park Avenue, is one of 17 care homes owned in Derbyshire by Southern Cross Healthcare, Britain’s largest care home operator.

The company spiralled into crisis after receiving a rent bill of £250m, and this week negotiated a deal with landlords under which no care homes will be closed in a transition period that will last until at least October.

Daniel Smith, of Grant Thornton, chairman of the landlords’ committee, said property owners have “agreed in principle that they will make significant financial concessions in order to achieve a sustainable solution. Our overriding concern at this time remains minimising disruption and concern for residents and their families”.

The landlords’ committee, which represents the 80 landlords who own the company’s 751 care homes, met with Southern Cross on Monday and were due to work out the details of the agreement yesterday. The landlords were expected to propose schemes under which they will accept long-term reductions in rent as long as the government and banks write off some of the money they are owed by Southern Cross.

The proposals may also allow for landlords to take back their properties and find other operators for them.

Last week Southern Cross announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs nationally in a move condemned by unions as bad for residents.

Derbyshire County Council social services, which has 350 residents living in 16 Southern Cross homes across Derbyshire has said it recognises recent reports may have caused concern for residents and their families and has moved to assure them it would will work with all parties to support the continuity of care for current residents.

Management at the Kilburn Care Centre declined to comment.