Kare Plus franchisees Carolyn Jarvis and Charlotte Evans are no strangers to running a business. In fact, they secured support for their previous enterprise from Deborah Meaden of Dragon’s Den.
However, their respective previous callings as a social worker and a nurse led them to refocus their ambitions on building a healthy business in the care sector.
“We wanted to go back to our roots really,” Carolyn explains. “Charlotte and I had thoroughly enjoyed working together in our previous venture, but we decided that simply making money wasn’t enough for either of us – we wanted to be successful and profitable obviously, but also we wanted to provide a high quality service in an area where we had considerable combined experience and knowledge – and where we knew we could make a difference to people’s lives.”
The pair considered several different options but quickly settled on Kare Plus, the UK’s leading domiciliary and healthcare franchise. Few franchisors in the sector offer a package that includes medical as well as non-medical care service provision, and this, given their backgrounds, was a key attraction for both women.
“Home Care is more of a slow burn, it’s a highly complex marketplace, so although the rewards are there in the long run, the nursing side of the franchise meant that we could build income quickly while we developed our services on the domiciliary front,” says Carolyn. “On top of that, we liked the drive and dynamism of the management team – we felt they were really forward thinking with a great vision, and we wanted to be part of that.”
Carolyn and Charlotte launched their Kare Plus franchise in January this year and, as expected , the recruitment and provision of nurses has proved a quick win - already they have around 40 nurses on their books and regular customers for whom they provide personnel.
“Because we previously worked in the health and care sector, we understand the pressures our staff face in the workplace and can empathise with them,” Carolyn adds. “This has helped us attract and retain high quality staff – and build strong relationships with them and with our customers. Having said that, we had no previous experience of recruitment, so being part of Kare Plus was a major benefit for us. We had a lot to learn about the necessary compliance requirements, for example, and Head Office has really helped us!”
Over the last twelve years, Kare Plus 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.
One of very few private care service providers in the franchising arena licensed to supply to the NHS and also fully accredited by the CQC (Care Quality Commission), the franchise is perfectly placed to benefit from the huge opportunities opening up 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.
The new Health and Social Care Act aims to increase patient choice whilst reducing NHS administrative costs, which according to Kare Plus Managing Director Steve Welsh, is great news for Kare Plus franchisees.
“Our franchisees are already able to capitalise on national contracts we have negotiated with customers including some of the largest private hospitals and nursing home groups in the UK”, he states. “Over the next four years, we expect to be tapping into NHS contracts worth an estimated £140m, as well as developing our services to meet the rapidly increasing demand for health and elderly care.”
Now that Charlotte and Carolyn have successfully achieved CQC (Care Quality Commission) accreditation, they too are poised to extend their business into the domiciliary care marketplace. Their specialist training is scheduled shortly and, according to Carolyn, once they are ready this will be launched as a new service.
She comments, “We believe that people are better of cared for in their own homes – the elderly particularly benefit from and deserve the dignity of assisted independence. Kare Plus has provided the ‘safety blanket’ that we need to operate in this highly regulated sector – all of the required procedures, policy documents and compliances are held at Head Office and access to their experience and expertise has proved absolutely invaluable. We are both passionate about offering excellent care and are only too aware of some of the horrendous experiences that people suffer; we are determined to deliver the best possible service and our Kare Plus franchise will certainly enable us to achieve our goals!”