Euro MEP warns of care homes crisis in Fenland after cash crisis at Southern Cross

RESIDENTS at seven Cambridgeshire care homes –including two Fenland homes- could be made homeless as the latest victims of Government cuts, Cambridgeshire Euro MP Richard Howitt warned today.

He said the care homes are all managed by Southern Cross, Britain’s largest care homes group “which faces financial meltdown.

“They have publicly said their rent obligations have become unsustainable and have started emergency talks with the government over financial difficulties”.

Mr Howitt said that cuts in the amount of cash the Government has provided to local councils mean they have slashed fees paid to care home providers lower fees to look after patients.

Dove Court and Strathmore House in Wisbech, Lily House in Ely and Astoria Park in Peterborough are all run by Southern Cross and offer specialist care for people with dementia.

Mr Howitt , who campaigned for a European initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias which was successfully adopted by the Parliament in January, says that studies show Europe needs 750,000 new care places by 2020 as the number of people suffering from dementia in Europe is estimated to nearly double every 20 years.

He said: “Providing high-quality care for the elderly, and especially those with dementia, is a growing problem and now is not the time for care homes to face closure.

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“We are not talking about numbers on a balance sheet, but about mums, dads and grandparents whose long-term care should be a priority. It would be a terrible upheaval for residents to be forced to move from the place they call home.”

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