Making caring count
Care & Elderly Services
As the provision of care and support for the elderly rises up the political agenda, there’s never been a better time to become a kare plus franchisee
As the biggest reorganisation in the history of the health service becomes law and provision of care and support for the elderly rises up the political agenda, specialist independent care provider Kare Plus is poised on the crest of a wave.
Over the last 12 years the company has established itself as one of the leading providers of quality nursing and domiciliary care, supplying medical and non-medical personnel to NHS hospitals, GP surgeries, private health and nursing care facilities, as well as to families whose primary concern is to have their loved ones cared for in their own home.
Kare Plus is one of only a few private care service providers in the franchising arena successfully supplying to the NHS. Fully accredited by the CQC (Care Quality Commission), the company is perfectly placed to take full advantage of the current climate of major political and social change.
“At the heart of the new Health & Social Care Act is a commitment to patient-centred care, which reduces bureaucracy in the NHS and gives new powers to doctors and nurses to design and tailor services for their patients,” explains Kare Plus managing director Steve Welsh.
“Patients in turn will have more information about the range of health care service providers they can choose from, while a new drive for localism means that more care services will be commissioned and delivered through partnership, working between local authorities, health services and providers like ourselves.
“Over the next four years we expect to be tapping into NHS contracts worth an estimated £140 million, let alone the rapidly increasing demand for health and elderly care from the private sector.” In addition to its strong links to the NHS and local authorities, Steve says that what sets Kare Plus apart from other competitors is that the company is able to provide both medical and non-medical domiciliary care. Franchisees can elect to focus on one or other of these sectors, should they wish, but the full package, which draws together both elements, reflects the current move towards integration of health and social care.
“The NHS is bursting at the seams and the new legislation recognises that, relinquishing responsibility and releasing funds to enable patients to make their own decisions about care,” says Steve. “Further reform proposals are expected in the form of the Care and Support White Paper “The NHS is bursting at the seams and the new legislation recognises that, relinquishing responsibility and releasing funds to enable patients to make their own decisions about care” Steve Welsh: “We’re providing a much appreciated and highly valued service” over the coming months, which will address the problem of our ageing population and look at how rising demand for care can be met and managed. Clearly there is crossover where elderly people need domiciliary support and also medical care. So for Kare Plus franchisees it makes absolute sense to be able to exploit both opportunities.”
The wide spectrum of services offered by Kare Plus ranges from specialist nursing for those convalescing after a spell in hospital, to caring for mental illness or dementia sufferer and looking after the frail elderly who simply need assistance with day-to-day living and whose family are too far afield to cope.
“We’re actually providing a much appreciated and highly valued service,” Steve points out. “As well as making money and building a profitable business, our franchisees are making a difference to people’s lives, which creates great job satisfaction and a real feeling of fulfilment.”
Kare Plus franchisees receive comprehensive training to enable them to provide specialist elderly care services to best practice standards in compliance with Care Quality Commission directives. This includes a residential course and ongoing support as required, depending on which packages are selected - Healthcare Personnel (nursing/medical care), Personal Touch (domiciliary/social care) or both.
Help is also at hand in recruiting and delivering specialised training to franchisees’ first staff.
“Our business grew out of providing nurses to the NHS and so we understand well what’s required,” Steve explains. “Once launched, franchisees are quick to pick up the process and after the initial staff recruitment and training sessions they take over that responsibility. We provide an online training module that franchisees can use for new staff or to continue staff improvement.”
Training also includes sales and marketing skills, with strong support from the franchisor in the form of dual calling and accompanied initial site visits for franchisees in the early days, until they feel sufficiently confident to ‘go it alone’.
According to Steve, Kare Plus is at the beginning of a journey. Although the company has been around for over a decade, it currently has only eight franchisees in operation, in addition to its owned branches. However, Steve’s vision is for a nationwide network of around 200 franchisees; his focus is on recruiting the right people who are able to understand and capitalise on the immense business opportunity created by the recent radical reforms to health and social care.
“Our territories are defined by population, not postcode,” he says. “All have 55,000 potential customers over the age of 65, with all hospitals, care homes and nursing homes mapped out.”
There is no typical Kare Plus franchisee and Steve is not targeting a particular group. “Some of our franchisees have a background in nursing or social work and have been drawn to run a business for themselves in a sector they know,” he confirms. “Others are simply business people who recognise the potential opportunity to make money. We welcome anyone who is prepared to work hard and has the necessary determination, vision and commitment to succeed. ”
Sooner or later, Steve says, most of us will need care for loved ones - projected figures suggest that the number of people older than 80 is set to double by 2020, with 11 million people alive today expected to reach 100. “That’s some marketplace - it’s already huge and it’s growing exponentially,” Steve concludes.
“With local authorities cutting back on social care provision, hospitals sending patients home at the earliest opportunity to release beds and a growing realisation that keeping the elderly living independently in their own homes brings both emotional and financial benefit all round, demand for our services is only heading in one direction.
“Without doubt, Kare Plus is in the right place at the right time, providing exactly the right set of services. Quite frankly, there’s never been a better time to become a Kare Plus franchisee.
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