What is your background?
I graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Residential Development. I then worked at McCarthy & Stone as an Assistant Land Buyer before joining Linden Homes as Senior Land Manager so my background and expertise is in land; sourcing suitable sites for development.
In 2001, I founded Villafont Homes, a luxury housebuilder, and started to build in the North West. In 2008, I joined the board at McGoff & Byrne, our privately-owned construction business.
In 2009, I established New Care Projects. I identify sites for development, negotiate contracts, manage the planning and technical process, de-risk the construction process, and explore funding solutions. I am heavily involved in every stage of the process from concept and innovation to physical construction delivery. Our construction and development expertise make us a unique ‘de-risked’ delivery offering in the care space. Our facilities are located in areas where there is an identified need for our ‘New Generation’ product, where there is a strong bias for private fee pay and where an identified deficiency in a care/clinical offering is evident.
How does it fit with care?
My background with a bias in property and construction is ideally suited to the care sector as both industries are heavily regulated and diverse in terms of characteristics and people you have to deal with.
What are your thoughts on social care’s future?
There is no silver bullet for the future of social care, but providers from all areas of the spectrum need to be appropriately paid a fair price for the service they provide. Cost pressures are increasing and too many commissioning authorities don’t want to recognise this fact against the backdrop of rising pressures associated with an increasingly elderly demographic.
I also think providers need to grasp the local healthcare economy and future commissioning expectations. We are one of only a handful of care home operators to employ in-house occupational therapists and physiotherapists, whose focus is primarily to reduce the risk of falls and take forward our philosophy of ‘enablement’. The health and wellbeing of our residents is paramount and we want all of our residents to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Having this multi-disciplinary approach ensures we offer our residents the best levels of care to suit their individual needs. It also reduces the need for costly secondary care services.
What opportunities does it pose for providers?
Better buildings create a platform for better care and there is a desperate need to drive operational efficiencies to raise standards for less money and this can often only be achieved via the creation of new generation facilities. Our care homes are purpose-built, specifically designed to provide a comprehensive range of high standard care options and cater for the rising aspirations of the older generation. As we are a uniquely positioned development-led care home operator, we are well placed to take advantage of this growing need.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The ‘p’ in property stands for patience.