PLMR worked to create a new brand and identity underpinned by strong messages and provided full strategic crisis communications and 24 hour press support.




Services provided

The Situation

In the summer of 2011, the UK faced one of the biggest crises it had ever seen in Health & Social Care.  Southern Cross, the country’s largest independent elderly care home provider was verging on administration, leaving 14,000 jobs at risk, and over 10,000 elderly people fearing for their homes.

From this crisis emerged many leaders across the Health & Social care sector.  In just 94 days one such team led by Dr Chai Patel formed a new company called HC-One and took over 241 care homes that were formerly part of Southern Cross.

PLMR worked with HC-One to:

  • Overcome the negative legacy of Southern Cross
  • Minimise negative media coverage
  • Create a new brand and identity underpinned by strong messages
  • Provide full strategic crisis communications and 24 hour press support

What we did

In the first three months of operation, PLMR worked alongside stakeholder press offices, the Police and local councils. Over 80 holding statements were drafted in this period alone and the press team leveraged news items to gain positive profile for the fledgling company and its senior management team.

HC-One spoke to millions via outlets including Radio 4’s Today Programme, The Guardian, Daily Politics, BBC Breakfast, and ITV news.  Board Member Anne Williams spoke to care professionals through more consumer oriented media such as the One Show.

The Result

Messages were conveyed to appeal to a specialised audience of politicians and decision makers, to the public, elderly people and their families. The drop in occupancy was tackled and the new company put on a stable footing. This provided reassurance for residents and families. A huge crisis was averted without Government intervention and the destabilisation of thousands of elderly people was avoided.

Add PLMR to your contacts

PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.