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Case Study: Healthcare Management Solutions

28/06/2016

Lodders partner Victor Matts has acted for care home operator Tony Stein’s care businesses for approximately 12 years. The most recent of these businesses is Healthcare Management Solutions (HCMS).

The Wythall-based business was created by chief executive Tony Stein and chairman Kevin Groombridge approximately four years ago and, along with a variety of care home centred services, operates around 80 homes across England, Wales and Scotland at any one time.

Tony said: “Victor is involved in all my care home acquisitions and disposals. I wouldn’t go anywhere else – there is nothing he doesn’t know about when it comes to corporate deals.”

Victor, who heads Lodders’ business department in the Stratford upon Avon office and specialises in business sales and purchases, responded: “Tony has become a friend – Healthcare Management Solutions is a very well run company.”

Healthcare Management Solutions

HCMS provides care home owners, operators, investors, banks and insolvency practitioners with a one-stop solution to the care home sector. It has a turnover of £4.5 million and employs around 85 people. There are several different strands to the business – long term management; interim management, often of distressed homes; audit and review; finance; and training.

Under the Canterbury Care banner a number of homes directly owned by Mr Stein are operated by HCMS. Care homes belonging to investors and entrepreneurs are similarly run on a long term basis being outsourced via management contracts to be run by the company.

The interim management side sees the business handle turnarounds, often for banks and insolvency firms.

The audit and review division assesses care home quality against industry best practice, regulation and the Care Quality Commission’s Essential Standards using the IMPaCT® audit tool, developed by HMCS. Management can then deal with any issues which have been highlighted.

Service to clients

A back office finance function is offered as a service to clients and there is also a recently launched training arm which organises courses for health care operators on matters such as health and safety, moving and handling residents, and medication programmes.

Tony said: “Our aim is always to improve quality of care for residents and drive up performance and value for our clients. We are trusted experts in all aspects of care home management. That is what we concentrate on – we don’t do hospitals, children’s services or anything else. We have a proven track record in delivering positive results in the most challenging situations.”

Turnaround is where the firm’s expertise can make a major difference. Tony said: “We can be called in for a number of reasons – trading, regulatory issues, contractual problems in terms of fees and standards of care, financial difficulties that have arisen through over-gearing, and management failings.

“HCMS is resourced to take on homes at short notice through a nationwide team of regional managers and a number of peripatetic managers experienced in taking control of services with problems. It isn’t always about cost-cutting. There are many occasions where, in the short term, due to workforce training needs or the intensity of issues that the service is facing, staffing levels and hence costs actually need to increase before sustainable operating levels can be reached. Quality is at the heart of everything and until that is right, the service can never hope to be successful.”

One example in the last three years involved a 20-strong care home group which had been with the lender’s restructuring team for over 12 months, but where it was decided an independent sector specialist’s viewpoint was required.

Working closely with the business owners, HCMS completed detailed operational reviews at the homes within nine working days. The final report summarised the key issues, home by home, and identified areas where improvements were required. It found that whilst nine homes were performing well and three had some occupancy issues, there were several within the group with serious problems. As a result, management effort could be focused on these and, as part of the review, HCMS prepared action plans for immediate implementation.

Typically, regional managers are responsible for an average of five homes each, low by industry standards but reflecting the many homes taken under their wing which have a history of poor performance and non-compliance and therefore need a lot of tender loving care. Victor added: “It is a fascinating story and I am sure that HCMS will continue to go  from strength to strength.”

“Victor is involved in all  my care home acquisitions  and disposals. I wouldn’t go anywhere else – there  is nothing he doesn’t know about when it comes to corporate deals.”

Tony Stein, Healthcare  Management Solutions

To find our more about Heathcare Management Solutions, visit www.hcsolutions.co.uk

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For more information on this story or to enquire about Lodders’ business and commercial services, please contact Victor Matts on 01789 206150.