The man earmarked to run a third of Southern Cross care homes when the beleaguered company collapses has admitted he is “putting himself on the line”.

Dr Chai Patel, founder of healthcare investment group Court Cavendish and former chief executive of The Priory rehab clinic – which treated celebrities such as Kate Moss – is teaming up with landlord NHP to form a new company to operate 249 Southern Cross homes.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Patel has pledged to bring “absolute clarity” to the residents of the homes and invest in improving the properties, and he says he is “completely relaxed and comfortable” about the financial strength of the new operating company.

Politicians, the healthcare industry and the families of care home residents are moving their attention to the new operators of Southern Cross care homes, following the controversial demise of the former stock market darling.

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