Merlin Court, the Southern Cross care home in Marlborough, is not for sale

Written by Neil Goodwin on .

Against the background of financial maelstrom affecting the parent Southern Cross Healthcare group, life at Marlborough’s Merlin Court is very much carry on as normal – with one significant fact emerging this week.

The purpose-built, 62-bedroom home is not for sale.

This was the reassurance that Mandi Short, Merlin Court’s manager, gave to a group of relatives of Merlin’s residents attending a regular meeting last night (Tuesday).

She told them the home is not one of the 750 homes in the Southern Cross group, which serve some 31,000 vulnerable elderly people, possibly being put up for sale by its owners because of a funding crisis.

Only if the much criticised endangered group were to fail would the home be sold, she pointed out, and then as a complete unit to a new owner.  

And for the staff, residents and relatives the only apparent change would be the paperwork. Life at the home would continue as usual.

This came as welcome news to the group of supportive yet concerned relatives, for whom Merlin Court is regarded as a well-run caring home and a vitally important part of their lives and those of their loved ones.

Merlin Court is one of three Southern Cross homes in Wiltshire, the others being Ravenscroft, in Trowbridge, and Kings Court, in Swindon, but is not part of the care home operation of Wiltshire Council, which runs its own group of 32 care homes through the Order of St John.

But other local authorities do provide the funding for some of Merlin Court’s residents, an indication that it remains an approved care home, especially now that the government has guaranteed that it will step in to prevent residents being put under threat.

On its website, Merlin Court declares: “Welcome to Merlin Court, our purpose built home where we provide a high standard of care 24 hours a day. Our residents have varying needs from specialist nursing support to general assistance with everyday living.

“We offer residential and nursing care as well as specialist care for those with dementia.”

“We are very proud of our homely and welcoming atmosphere. We would be delighted to show you around so that you can experience it for yourself.”