May 27, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Helen Wong MBE of Setfords helps South West care homes provider expand its national footprint

Pebblestones Limited, a national care operator with homes in Cerne Abbas and Winterbourne Steepleton, has expanded its operations by acquiring a Taunton-based care home, Northway House, which has the capacity for up to 29 elderly residents, some with complex needs.

Pebblestones Limited’s Operations Director Chetan Borkhatria appointed Helen Wong MBE, a corporate solicitor with Setfords, who specialises in the healthcare sector, to assist with the sale and finance transaction.

Northway House Residential Home, registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England, has been owned and run by a local family for more than 20 years. The family decided to sell the business to pursue other interests.

Northway House provides a range of tailored care services, including for individuals with dementia, physical disabilities and sensory impairments. The home occupies a Victorian period property with en-suite bedrooms, communal lounges, dining rooms and a conservatory.

The home also has a large garden with a patio area and a pond, where residents can enjoy the fresh air, nature and wildlife. The home is close to local shops, public transport and other amenities.

Chetan Borkhatria said:

“Completing a successful acquisition of Northway House will enable Pebblestones to continue to expand its offering.  The home offers vital support to people in later life, including convalescent care, respite care, day care and palliative care.

“We intend to inject fresh energy to make this home even more homely and welcoming, while also implementing an increased programme of activities and outings to keep the residents engaged and entertained.  Our focus is always to create a home-from-home environment for residents with dignity and respect at the heart of everything we do.”

The Pebblestones’ team is seeking to replicate at Northway House the successes and philosophy of its other operations, specifically its Casterbridge Manor care home.

Casterbridge residents are actively encouraged to maintain their independence by making choices about their daily lives and how they choose to spend their time, including keeping up hobbies and interests.  The home also welcomes visitors and family members, who can join their loved ones for meals and events.

Helen Wong MBE said:

“It was a pleasure to work with Chetan on this acquisition. He is an experienced operator who can bring out the best in any home. It is a wonderful business that provides high-quality care and support to their residents and I am confident his team will be warmly welcomed at Northway House.

“I am happy that Chetan has found Northway House which is a great fit for the Pebblestones group, and I know he and his team will continue to deliver excellent residential, nursing and specialist dementia care in a warm, safe and friendly care home environment.”

Chetan Borkhatria added:

“I have no hesitation recommending Helen Wong from Setfords. She has in-depth knowledge of the laws surrounding care homes and CQC, and works extremely hard and helps gets deals over the line.

“She is also highly experienced in financing transactions. Were it not for Helen’s determination in meeting the lender’s extensive requirements, this deal would have stalled.  Helen worked all hours of the day, even bank holidays to deal with issues that arose.

“I also want to thank Jonathan Senior, who worked alongside Helen, for his help with the property legal work. He was efficient and prompt and knows his stuff. Together Helen and Jonathan make a great team. All care home operators looking for a law firm, I’d definitely recommend Setfords.“

Helen Wong explained:

“It is extremely busy in the care space. The demand for care homes and domiciliary care agencies is unparalleled. Even with the tightening in finance, increased operating costs and the economic downturn, the care sector remains robust due to the demographics and ageing population.

“There are now over 15.5 million people aged 60 or over, making up 23 per cent of the UK population. The number of “older” old people is also rising. There are now 3.2 million people aged 80 or over, and almost 600,000 of these are aged 90 or over.

“By 2041 it is expected that there will be over 3 million people aged 85 or over – more than double the number that there are today.  The Office for National Statistics states: ‘There were an estimated 360,792 care home residents from 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2022, occupying 77.8 per cent of care home beds. Approximately 125,954 (34.9 per cent) of care home residents were classified as self-funders, compared with 234,838 (65.1 per cent) state-funded residents’.”

Helen Wong added:

“I feel very bullish and positive about the sector for the remainder of this year and beyond.”

The Setfords specialist care sector team is helping first time buyers through to experienced operators and groups with mergers and acquisitions. Setfords can help other acquirers with their acquisitions and support with introductions to finance brokers and specialist accountants if required.

The sale of Northway House Residential Home was completed an undisclosed sum.  Simon Harvey of Christie & Co brokered the transaction.