CONFUSION surrounds the future of three Wakefield care homes after it was announced their operator Southern Cross Healthcare will be wound up.
Carr Gate, Snapethorpe Hall and Croft House will cease to be operated by the firm and transferred to landlords Southern Cross leased them from.
But Southern Cross has refused to reveal who the landlords are. And despite paying thousands of pounds a year in care home rents, Wakefield Council was still in the dark over who will run the homes yesterday.
Council bosses said the homes would all stay open after assurances from Southern Cross, which collapsed after mounting debts and losses.
Elaine McHale, director of family services for the local authority, said details of the landlords had been requested. She said: “Wakefield Council staff will continue to liaise with Southern Cross on any transitional arrangements affecting the homes within the district.”
Fears were raised over the future of the homes when it emerged that each new landlord will have to apply for registration from government watchdog the Care Quality Commission.
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said: “It is vital that residents, their families and staff have certainty over the future of the homes.
“To avoid any further confusion the government should publish a full list of these landlords.”
A list released by the GMB union, which represents staff at the homes, shows the Carr Gate home is owned by Mitchells and Butlers, a pub company which runs the All Bar One chain.
Croft House, in Gawthorpe, is owned by Northern Ireland-based Murdock Nursing Homes Ltd, a subsidiary of property firm Dromore Investments, GMB said.
Title deeds show Southern Cross as the registered owner of Snapethorpe Hall, in Lupset.
A company called NHP Securities is also named in the documents.
NHP is Southern Cross’ biggest landlord and former sister company, and is set to take over dozens of homes around the UK.
Southern Cross said it had an ongoing commitment to preserving continuity of care to all its 31,000 residents.
Chief executive Jamie Buchan said in a statement: “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.”