Socialist Worker

Care home nightmare: this could be the NHS's future

Issue No. 2255

Privatisation rains chaos on ordinary people while bosses grab billions. That’s what the care homes crisis shows.

A GMB union report shows how rents for the 750 Southern Cross care homes were £100 million higher than they should be—because of a financial scam by big City firms.

Southern Cross bosses made millions by selling their stakes in the firm before they nosedived.

Philip Scott, former chief executive, made £11.1 million. Former chair William Colvin, chief financial officer Graham Sizer and chief operating officer John Murphy all grabbed between £6.6 and £10.2 million.

Helen works for Southern Cross in Mansfield. “Our pay is a few pence above the minimum wage,” she said. “We are tired and stressed.

“Recently one resident collapsed and had to be given CPR. The manager seemed to be more worried about paperwork.

“Directors have come and gone. They have made millions.”

The GMB points out that Labour oversaw the “machinations of the private equity industry”. It also shows that Jeremy Heywood, permanent secretary to David Cameron, profited from the Southern Cross sale.

Heywood was co-head of UK investment banking at Morgan Stanley when Southern Cross was sold. The company acted as financial advisors and lead managers.

The Tories want to wreck more lives. As GMB organiser Justin Bowden said, “If anyone wants to see what the NHS will look like in two years look no further than Southern Cross.”

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