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Posted by: John Brace | 21st June 2011

Health and Well Being Overview and Scrutiny Committee – 20/6/2011 – Part 3

Howard Cooper said the financial difficulties of the company stemmed from 2006-2008 when it had sold its properties and leased them back. Its cost base was high and the numbers going into residential care had gone down. Therefore its business projection had been flawed. The good news was that this position was recognised by the landlords. The landlords had agreed to a 30% reduction to October 2011 which included the Wirral. Whilst the business was being restructured the existence of the homes was not threatened and they had received assurances that in the worst case scenario the company would end up in the hands of the administrators.

Cllr Glasman asked if people were happy and had any questions. A councillor asked what had happened to the suggestion that Wirral Council open its own homes. Howard Cooper replied there were no plans. The councillor said they were reassured by that. Howard Cooper said there was no need to do so. He repeated there was no need to do so. He said Southern Cross with six homes and 450 beds was the biggest provider on the Wirral and couldn’t be ignored. Whether Wirral Council ran its own homes or not was a secondary question as the existing homes were not full. They had signed a contract and continued to place people in homes confident in the continuity of care and provision.

Cllr Roberts said a constituent of hers had had respite care until February 2011, but none since then. He was thirty-four and it was in reference to his mother. The person was at the end of his tether and had thought of taking it further. Howard Cooper suggested she talk to Chris or his colleagues and they would look into it. He did say there had been a steady stream of concerns of this sort. It was certainly true that it was the time of highest demand and part of the reason was the personalisation agenda.


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