TROUBLED North East care business Southern Cross has revealed plans to axe 3,000 jobs as it battles to stave off financial ruin.
The company, which is responsible for looking after 31,000 residents across the UK, has 52 of its care homes in the region.
It recently warned that it was in a “critical financial condition” when it revealed a £311m loss in the six months to the end of March and yesterday said it plans to cut the workforce by 7% from 44,000 to 41,000 by October.
Southern Cross said it was committed to work with the GMB union to minimise the redundancies and added that home managers, deputies, activity co-ordinators and administrators will not be “directly” affected by the cuts.
Chris Jukes, GMB regional political officer, said: “It is a scandalous decision. We called for the Government this week to step in, and that is what we want now.
“Residents’ families and workers are looking on anxiously. The regulator, the Care Quality Commission, must ensure care standards are maintained.
“If it can’t do the job, then it should get out of the way and let someone else do it”.
Staff approached by The Journal at a Southern Cross Care Home in Newcastle had been told by senior managers not to publicly comment on the job losses, as speculation continues that some homes could close across the UK or be off loaded to other operators.