Fears grow for local Southern Cross residents

Greenhaw Lodge Care Home. (2903PG08)
Greenhaw Lodge Care Home. (2903PG08)

The care home operator, Southern Cross, which runs four residential homes in the North West, is to close down - leaving hundreds of its local residents facing an uncertain future.

The firm had been trying to reach a deal with its landlords because it was struggling to pay its rent.

In a statement, Southern Cross said it would ensure the continuity of care for its 31,000 residents across Northern Ireland and Britain.

However, one Derry man, who has an elderly relative living in one of the company’s local care homes, says it’s been a “very stressful” time.

“Our relative has picked up on this story and has asked us on several occasions what does this mean to her,” he told the ‘Journal’. “We have been trying to reassure her that things were going to be OK but you can see the visible signs of her vulnerability coming through when this subject is raised.

“She has seen and heard it on the news and there has even been discussion in the day room among other residents querying their own futures. This latest story will only add further stress and anxiety for both her and our family.

“The Western Trust needs to reveal what it intends to do. What are the contingency plans? Are the residents effectively homeless? Where are the confidence measures for the residents and the families? The Western Trust must stand up and defend the interests and care needs of vulnerable and sick people.”

Local SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan says certainty and assurances are needed for residents, families and staff at Southern Cross homes.