Wednesday, 22 June 2011

An insiders perspective of Southern Cross

Before starting Social Care Alba, I worked as a Manager with the Care Commission for 9 years.  Over that time I led a team of Officers who regulated some Southern Cross care homes.  I am often asked, was the writing on the wall for Southern Cross, and my answer is always NO.  It is true that a number of Southern Cross care homes had performed poorly over a long period.  For those that are interested just search for Southern Cross inspection reports on

The main areas which required improvement being the number and quality of staff within homes, and their detrimental effect upon care and support.  However, hard work on the part of Care Commission staff did see improvements, even if this was sometimes by means of enforcement.

So are its financial difficulties responsible for its poor performance?  NO, whilst some things do cost money, such as employing staff, the quality of their work does not.  We need to focus on one simple question:


You decide, what quality of service are you willing to accept?  Then take a look at other providers grades, you may be shocked.  Southern Cross is by no means unique, the quality of care provision across the country varies considerably.  Whilst there are some excellent innovative providers from the private, voluntary and local authority sectors there are equally some very poor services.

I am proud of the contribution I and my colleagues made to improve care in Scotland, and now I hope to do even more with Social Care Alba.  Not everything needs to be a bad news story, there are lots of people just like you and me that are working to make things better. Give us your support and together we can have a National Care Service to be proud of.

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