Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services
In her response during the “Dignified Care?” debate on 15 June the Minister for Health and Social Services confirmed I would be providing an update to Members on the ongoing developments surrounding Southern Cross. This is a very fluid situation.
I last updated Members on 8 June; first in answering the urgent question from Peter Black AM on this issue and second, in issuing a Written Statement to Members following an announcement made by Southern Cross later that day on its plans to harmonise the terms and conditions of its staff.
I would once again reiterate that my overriding concern is maintaining the continuity of care provided to residents in Southern Cross care homes. The company have confirmed that they are restructuring and they continue to give assurances that any change in its present arrangements will be achieved in a manner that ensures continuity and quality of care for its residents. Southern Cross is writing to Members and local authorities who have a Southern Cross home in their area with details of this.
We will continue to keep in close dialogue with the company about how its restructuring is being taken forward. CSSIW will continue to assess whether Southern Cross is meeting their responsibilities in maintaining the standard of care in its homes during this process. We will also continue to engage with local government and the NHS to listen to the contingency plans they have in place should these be ultimately required.