County Councillor raises concern over Kent wheelchair services following Millbrook acquisition
Following the acquisition of Millbrook Healthcare and its subsidiaries by private investment firm Cairngorm Capital in July, Labour Kent County Councillor for Ramsgate Karen Constantine has called for further scrutiny by Kent County Council’s health scrutiny panel.
Contracted to provide wheelchair services in Kent, Millbrook Healthcare came under criticism in July 2018 for a significant backlog which had left over 300 people waiting for a wheelchair for over a year and over 1000 children and adults waiting for assessment, repairs or provision of equipment for over 18 weeks.
The backlog led to multiple parties in Kent, including Kent Healthwatch, service users and Cllr Constantine to call for Thanet CCG to strip the provider of outsourced community equipment of its contract.
Insisting the backlog was inherited from when it took over the contract in 2017, Millbrook Healthcare has managed to reduce waiting times in the last 12 months by 7 weeks for adults from 31 weeks to 23 weeks, however, Cllr Constantine says the service is still not stable.
“I’m very concerned that the service is far from stable. I fear a difficult contract has been ‘offloaded’, to the possible detriment of both services users and staff,” she told The Isle of Thanet News.
“These contracts need to be bought back in-house and delivered for the benefit of users, not to contribute to the profits of an Investment Company. On Cairngorm’s own website, they state they invest in “private mid-market growth companies in manufacturing, distribution and services industries. We focus on companies that can weather economic volatility, have shown consistent historical growth and have significant future growth prospects”.”
Despite being acquired by the private equity firm, Cairngorm Capital confirmed that Millbrook Healthcare’s management team will continue to lead the company and that Kent’s wheelchair services will not be affected by the purchase, with the service being provided by the same team in the same location.
Responding to Cllr Constantine’s call, a Cairngorm Capital spokesperson told the Thanet news outlet: “Neither Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group or Kent County Council have asked Cairngorm Capital to take over the wheelchair service from Millbrook Healthcare. They view our partnership as a positive step and are fully supportive.”
The acquisition marks Cairngorm Capital’s first entry into the assisted technology and mobility market and was headed up by experienced NHS orthopaedic surgeon Dr Amit Thaper, who joined Cairngorm Capital as Investment Director in April 2017.
Discussing the decision to acquire Millbrook, Dr Thaper commented: “Our firm is very conscious of the need to support the evolving needs of an ageing population and to reduce the pressure on acute services – it has long been an objective of ours to support companies delivering the solutions to do so.
“Millbrook is an excellent example of the type of company that we like to partner with. It is well established in the healthcare industry, has a differentiated offering and is run by an excellent management team.”https://thiis.co.uk/county-councillor-raises-concern-over-kent-wheelchair-services-following-millbrook-acquisition/https://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Wheelchair-Personal-Health-Budgets.jpghttps://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Wheelchair-Personal-Health-Budgets-150x150.jpgMergers & AcquisitionsNewsroomSupplier NewsCairngorm Capital,Community Equipment Services,consolor,Dr Amit Thaper,Karen Constantine,Kent County Council,Kent Heathwatch,Labour County Councillor,Millbrook Healthcare,ultimate healthcare,WCS,Wheelchair ServicesFollowing the acquisition of Millbrook Healthcare and its subsidiaries by private investment firm Cairngorm Capital in July, Labour Kent County Councillor for Ramsgate Karen Constantine has called for further scrutiny by Kent County Council’s health scrutiny panel. Contracted to provide wheelchair services in Kent, Millbrook Healthcare came under criticism in...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine