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New healthcare group acquires specialist nursing homes

Cornerstone Kitnocks House Specialist Nursing Home

The newly formed Cornerstone Healthcare Group Ltd has acquired family-run Hampshire care homes, South Africa Lodge and Kitnocks House from Dr Oliver Sargent and his family who have run them since 1998.

The homes care for older people with complex neurological, physical and mental health needs associated with challenging behaviours.

This 154 bed acquisition is the first in an ambitious five-year growth plan for the group, who have significant capital for future acquisitions in the specialist care market.

The Board of Cornerstone Healthcare Group Ltd have extensive experience in the market. The group is chaired by Stephen Collier, Chair of NHS Professionals and former Group Chief Executive of BMI Healthcare. Chief Executive, Johann van Zyl, Chief Operating Officer, Dara Ní Ghadhra and Interim Finance Director, Geoff Hiskett were part of the management team behind the success of national specialist neurological care provider, PJ Care.

Chief Executive Mr van Zyl said “This acquisition gives us the opportunity to offer a service to a large group of people who tend to be forgotten about. There are currently 15,000 people who need this type of specialist care and only 5,000 beds available in suitable care homes.”

With this figure to grow by 3% year on year, Cornerstone Healthcare Group are focusing on expansion within this market through acquisition of homes that will suit this resident group. They are already talking to other owner managers of similar homes and are looking for opportunities for further acquisitions in this market.

Mr van Zyl continued “With our experience of running homes for people with challenging behaviours, we are looking to increase the number of places available to this type of resident and ease the burden on dementia care homes who struggle to manage the needs of these individuals.”

Demand is high, South Africa Lodge in Waterlooville and Kitnocks House in Curdridge are nearly always at capacity, however, running this type of service takes a lot of experience and the support of dedicated staff.

With over 25 years’ experience in similar facilities, Ms Ní Ghadhra said “The reason we chose to buy these particular homes was the commitment and service delivered by the staff. This type of work isn’t easy, but the staff care deeply for our residents and this is evident in everything that they do.

They are full of ideas on how to make life even more rewarding for our residents and we’re looking forward to working with them to make our service even better than it already is.”

This acquisition was a management buy in and funding came from experienced health care investor, Ignite Growth LLP and Kvika Securities Ltd who are committed to investing to help the business grow strongly in the future. The deal involved many different parties including Tom Robinson, Cushman & Wakefield (site finder), Dennis Knockton, Metro Bank (prime lender), Justin Crowther, Alantra, Ian Morris, EMW Law LLP, BDO LLP and Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Chair of Cornerstone Healthcare Group, Mr Collier concluded “This is an exciting new venture for our team and our ultimate focus will be on our residents, working with their families, our staff and referring agencies to ensure we continue to offer and build on the excellent service nurtured by Dr Sargent and his team.”