Reprieve for care home

A CARE home threatened by the collapse of Southern Cross has been saved after a buy-out.

The 36-bed Field View Care Home, in Blackhall, has been taken over by The Maria Mallaband Care Group (MMCG), with numerous jobs saved.

The move will create 2,250 jobs nationally after MMCG launched a new company, Countrywide Care Homes.

The firm plans to expand its operation from 28 luxury homes for the elderly to 70 in the next five years. Philip Burgan, MMCG chairman and chief executive, said: “We have grown quickly through word of mouth by delivering first class care in a five-star hotel environment.

 “The Southern Cross deal moves us into a new sector and our excellent staff will be working hard to impose the same high standards on the homes we are acquiring. Countrywide Care Homes will be a valuable addition to the group.”

MMCG, which was founded in 1996 and employs 4,000 staff, will now operate 111 properties in its portfolio offering a wide range of services from residential and nursing care for elderly people to those with physical disabilities, autism and learning difficulties.

Southern Cross, which ran homes and cared for more than 250 residents in Hartlepool, Billingham, and east Durham, collapsed after landlords owning all 752 of its care homes across the country said they wanted to leave the group.