Britain’s biggest care home operator Southern Cross Healthcare has issued a clarification about its occupancy rates after reports alleged it had miscalculated its occupancy rates.
The reports claimed that the troubled firm, which has scores of properties across the West Midlands, had not included beds in its calculations that had been bought in the last year, or that are being refurbished or rebuilt, and that average occupancy rates may be closer to 80 per cent across the group.
In response, the company said in a statement it currently operates 731 mature and immature (less than 12 month-old) homes with a total of 37,027 beds and 33,270 residents - which represents an average occupancy rate of 89.8 per cent.
The figure given in its recent June 30 statement to the market was 33,450 residents, or 90 per cent of all beds. The company runs a total of three homes under management contracts, one home due for divestment which cares for 87 residents and three purpose built day care centres for 97 users.
Southern Cross said it currently has a total of 33,454 residents and service users.
In May, the firm reported its pre-tax losses widening to £8.6 million from £600,000 in the first half, as sales rose 28.2 per cent to £431.2 million, slightly below forecasts of £436 million.
The company said it was also changing growth strategies from one of acquisition to development to reflect the relatively poor state of homes on the market and the fact that the credit crunch had made them more expensive.