Jamie Buchan Chief Executive of Southern Cross recently told national media that "if the company does not reach agreement with its landlords and lenders the group is unlikely to be able to continue to trade."

So Southern Cross could go under at anytime since the rents it pays on the homes is £100m too high. If they do, the world of the 31,000 residents in their care will be turned upside down. To say nothing of worlds of the 44,000 staff and the residents' families.

The residents, their families and the staff in the 736 care homes all over UK are living in a state of massive uncertainty. No one should suffer this kind of worry, least of all the elderly and the vulnerable: those least able to defend and protect themselves.

Only the government and politicians have the power now to end this uncertainty. Only the politicians can answer the question who will look after the 31,000 elderly and vulnerable if Southern Cross goes under.

These care homes, run by Southern Cross, are not factories that are failing from lack of demand but are an essential part of every community which now face ruin due to the combination of privatisation and private equity. Everyone knows, moving the elderly and vulnerable is the worst thing that can happen to them and can lead to premature death.