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Southern Cross’s SE1 care home 'unlikely to close'

Southwark Council says that it doesn't expect any of the three Southern Cross care homes in Southwark - including the Tower Bridge Care Centre at Bricklayers Arms - to close.

Tower Bridge Care Centre at Bricklayers Arms
Tower Bridge Care Centre overlooks the Bricklayers Arms junction

On Monday morning the troubled care home operator announced a restructuring process which will lead to the company ceasing to act as a care provider.

"My objective, and that of my team, is to continue to provide excellent care to every resident and to manage the programme of transition professionally," said chief executive Jamie Buchan.

"All 44,000 staff can take pride from the significant operational turnaround and improvements in care delivery which have been achieved over the past two years."

The Tower Bridge Care Centre building is owned by Jersey-based Libra Careco whose ultimate owners are based in the Cayman Islands.

The Libra Careco companies are part of NHP which owns 249 of Southern Cross's 700+ homes.

The GMB union has trawled Land Registry records to establish which companies and organisations own the buildings used by Southern Cross.

"Since this morning's announcement from Southern Cross, we have been seeking urgent clarification from their management about their three homes operating in the borough," said Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle, Southwark's cabinet member for health and adult social care.

"On my visits to our care homes and in speaking with the managers I have been reassured that that they will ensure continuity of care for residents. We are currently not expecting any Southern Cross homes in Southwark to close, but we are contacting both Southern Cross and their landlords to clarify the latest situation.

"We have also been making contingency arrangements over many weeks as the care of our residents will always be our priority.

"So whilst we appreciate that this national issue is likely to cause understandable local concern, we would like to reassure everyone that we will ensure that Southwark residents currently in Southern Cross homes will be well cared for and looked after".

The Tower Bridge Care Centre received a one-star 'adequate' rating from the Care Quality Commission at its most recent full inspection in 2009.

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