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Friday, May 21, 2010

Going, going, nearly gone


All is not well in the Care Home World. Shares in Southern Cross fell to their lowest level in a year and a half on Tuesday and then a bit further, after the UK’s largest care homes group reported falling occupancy levels and a widening of pre-tax losses.

Average occupancy at the group’s homes open more than a year fell in the period from 88.8% last year to 86.9%. Southern Cross's problems are not all to do with the state of the care industry. The ineptitude of the previous management and their gambling on the bubble of property appreciation continuing forever also has something to do with it.

Things can only get worse and then a bit more. Local Authorities are under extreme pressure to cut costs and the care budget is going to be a major target.

The care industry is not best known for its marketing prowess so it had better start learning fast. Dick Stroud

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