Southern Comfort?

Emotive, isn’t it?  Decisions based on Gordon Gecko principles leave 31,000 residents of Southern Cross care homes at risk of losing their homes.   

The story is unfolding rapidly, with Blackstone, the former owners of Southern Cross, looking to buy - and secure control - of Southern Cross’s debt.  

The whole scenario is unfolding with a sickening familiarity: financial details we don’t understand, the old, or sick, at risk while powerful people make decisions about very very large numbers.  

Any private company entering this arena has a lot to measure up to.  In the UK, we typically assumed that health and social care is ring-fenced financially and that the most vulnerable are prioritised.  This is a big, big promise for privately funded enterprise to make, and credibility is at stake when companies fail to live up to this promise. 

Ethics and finance are not words that naturally trip off the tongue in the same sentence.  But perhaps there is room for some ethical underpinning for sustainable, private funding for care homes.  Properly explained, perhaps this could differentiate the market?

Kay Williamson