southern cross

Kiran Stacey

Last month I revealed that Paul Burstow, the social care minister, refused to meet Jamie Buchan, the Southern Cross CEO, on several occasions before the UK’s biggest care home operator went bust. This was despite the fact that Buchan warned that his company was in financial difficulty.

Today the letters that I quoted from have been laid in the Commons library, along with a couple of other previously unseen messages, which show Buchan tried more often than we previously realised to secure such a meeting. 

Kiran Stacey

Paul Burstow

Paul Burstow

Back in the late summer/early autumn of last year, Southern Cross began trying to get in touch with the new social care minister, Paul Burstow. Jamie Buchan, the chief executive, wrote a letter in August warning Burstow the company was in trouble.

The language was careful of course – this letter could have become public under Freedom of Information rules, so Buchan would not have wanted to say anything that spooked investors and made the situation worse. But the message was clear: the company is in trouble and we need to talk to you about it.