Shelter from the storm

In a year of profound challenges – across both society and the investment world – resilience has arguably been the most valuable commodity in 2020. Covid-19 and our attempts to control it have torn apart business plans, stymied growth and left organisations in a permanent state of flux as they react to ever-changing circumstances. In this environment, firms that have been able to block out the noise and focus on their core proposition have commanded a premium – and in the world of UK health and social care, nowhere is this more apparent than the specialist care sector.
In our November issue, we hear from the all-female management team of Active Care Group (page 24) – one of the fast-growing investor-backed groups looking to consolidate and further professionalise this specialist care sector. In a month that saw the acquisition of Exemplar Healthcare by Ares Management Corporation, Heathcotes Group team up with Civitas Investment Management and Envivo Group and Outcomes First Group acquire Bryn Melyn Care, we publish an exclusive report from the investment bank Alantra (page 32) that details the 50 fastest growing specialist care firms.
What’s clear from the 2020 report is the essential nature of the care provided by these operators. Societies are often judged by how they care for their most vulnerable individuals – and as the pandemic shifted our criteria for how that is defined, the specialist care sector’s performance has been exemplary. What also comes through in the analysis is the growing importance of technology and how it is used. 2020 may well be remembered as a watershed moment in terms of our relationship with technology – particularly in relation to how businesses function and teams communicate with each other.
There have been a number of pioneers in health and care – organisations that have embedded technology into their processes and their value proposition – but as we (hopefully) come out of the pandemic it is clear this will have to be norm, rather than the exception.

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