WIHPF Round Table event at Knight Frank

Managing director, Amanda Nurse, in partnership with Knight Frank associate Bela Chauhan, led a debate into development trends in the elderly care sector at the Women in Healthcare Property Forum “round table event”. The event was hosted by Bela Chauhan, at the Knight Frank offices.

Bela Chauhan said “Knight Frank Healthcare was delighted to host the WHPF round table event, where we held a lively discussion involving leading ladies in the sector. This event coincided with Knight Frank’s recent research publication on development opportunities within the sector. The breadth of professional experience and expertise among the attendees made for an insightful evening, and demonstrated just how engaged professionals and operators are in the future of the social care sector.”

Amanda Nurse said “The latest Carterwood research revealed that only 29% of senior shareholders of independently run care homes in Surrey are female. The average age of the independent care home owner in Surrey is 59 years of age, with the oldest senior shareholder being 91 years. Never has it been more important to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs to see the potential that the care sector has to offer. The group discussed the importance of encouraging young female entrepreneurs to enter into the sector. Raising funds is absolutely key and the potential major barrier. Those members involved in the financing of new homes acknowledged that far too few women are applying to raise funds with many still being in a supporting role, rather than leading any fund raising proposal.

It was felt that there absolutely was a future for the independently run care home and often it is the next generation of the family who are making the investment to enable services to continue to keep pace with the ever competing market place, particularly in Southern England. Often educated and working outside the family business, this commercial experience can transform the future prospects of a care business which potentially has had limited investment for a number of years. Care homes remain at an average size of 60 beds, but fill rates are slowing. Operators are not prepared to compromise on fee levels, instead accepting fill rates of 1 to 2 per month where 2 years ago they would be filling twice as quickly. Carterwood’s research reveals a trend to care homes moving closer to 70 beds, as land prices continue to rise and operators need to add beds in order to meet land owners’ price expectations”.

WHPF was established in 2012 to create a dynamic forum for women to develop and hone networking skills, expand knowledge, create valuable business opportunities, and inspire change for female professionals in the healthcare sector; both younger women, as well as supporting those in ‘mid-career’ and at board level. WHPF membership includes operators, developers, lenders, valuers, agents and contractors, and organises several networking events a year including networking drinks, and the popular “round table” discussions with sector specialists, and additional mixed events where members are invited to bring a male colleague or client.

If you would like to join the membership, please email WHPF2018@gmail.com.

This was originally published on the Healthcare Business website 18 June 2019.

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