Our history

Our history

At Care UK we’ve been leading the way in health and social care for more than 30 years.


We kicked-off the year by opening Skylark House in Horsham; the first of six new luxury care homes planned for 2017. February saw North East London NHS Treatment Centre celebrate its 10th birthday. Later in the month Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre unveiled its new operating theatre and endoscopy suite as part of a £2 million investment that significantly increased capacity for local people who require NHS care. We also opened another new care home – Ferndown Manor in Dorset.

In March, eight of our care homes were given the seal of approval by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with team members being praised for their enthusiasm to provide supportive care. Towards the end of the month we celebrated being shortlisted in numerous awards that recognise excellence and innovation in care home management.

May brought even more good news as our residential care business was named as one of the country’s top employers at the Employee Experience Awards. Also in May, our healthcare business enjoyed top ratings from the CQC in Yorkshire and Somerset. Both Rochdale NHS Ophthalmology CATS and Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre were rated outstanding, with our hospital achieving a clean sweep of outstanding ratings in all categories.

In June we opened the luxury Weald Heights in Sevenoaks as our new care homes opening programme continued apace. It was the 29th home we’ve opened since 2013 and there are another 20 already in planning or development. Later that month our ground-breaking project to deliver 10 new care homes in Suffolk took the top award at one of the most prestigious health and social care ceremonies in the country. Our 25-year partnership with Suffolk County Council, which involved an £80 million investment into new facilities, was named as the Best Public and Private Partnership of the Year.

The awards continued in July as our healthcare team at HMP Stafford won the Improving Safety in Medicines Management category at the annual HSJ Patient Safety Awards. The team was also highly commended in the Best Patient Safety Improvement Team category for its smoking cessation programme and supporting the Ministry of Justice’s move to smoke-free prisons.

In September we began running healthcare services at another four prisons and young offender institutions, reinforcing our position as the UK's largest provider of healthcare to offenders and detainees. We also opened another two new care homes – Highmarket House in Banbury and Snowdrop House in Ware.

Awards season brought further success for our residential care business with accolades at the National Dementia Care Awards and the LaingBuisson Awards. In November we also announced the start of an exciting new partnership with the Care Workers Charity.


In March, our chefs, residents and their families contributed to a new book, Eating as we age, that helps those caring for loved ones in the community to ensure their wellbeing is maintained through good nutrition and hydration. We also saw the fruition of our £1.6m investment in Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre. It created a third state-of-the-art operating theatre that’ll see the team deliver new specialist ophthalmology services.

In April we were invited to run healthcare services at another 21 prisons, young offender institutions and an immigration removal centre. Two months later, our healthcare team launched another two offender health services. Our enlarged health in justice services now provide highly tailored and effective person-centred healthcare to approximately a quarter of the prison population.

May saw the official opening of the 10th and final home in our £60m investment in care home provision in Suffolk as part of our 25-year contract with the county council, and in June we set a new record with 106 of our care homes taking part in Care Home Open Day – an annual initiative to create lasting relationships between care homes and their local communities.

In July, our joint venture with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was selected as the preferred bidder to run a new health and wellbeing campus in Shepton Mallet. It’ll provide a range of NHS services and minimise the need for patients to travel to neighbouring towns for routine health appointments.

We had three reasons to celebrate in August as the external building work completed at new care homes in Sevenoaks, Horsham and Ferndown in Dorset. When all three flagship developments have opened they will offer the very best accommodation and high quality residential, nursing and dementia care for more than 200 people.

September saw more growth for our Health in Justice business as we began running healthcare services at two more prisons in Yorkshire. The addition of HMP Askham Grange and HMP New Hall increased the number of prisons and immigration removal centres we have partnerships in to 33, giving us the largest market share of any provider.

In October our Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre became the first surgical hospital run by an independent sector provider in the country to achieve an overall ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), placing it in the top three per cent of hospitals in the country. We also announced a £2 million investment in the hospital which will see it increase capacity by a third as well as offer a wider range of diagnostic and minor surgical procedures.

In November we played a central role in the launch of the UK’s first integrated urgent care service in a collaboration with 16 clinical commissioning groups in the West Midlands. This innovative new model offers patients joined up access to multiple urgent healthcare services, an enhanced patient experience and better clinical outcomes.

And towards the end of the year our Broadwater Lodge care home in Surrey completed an impressive double, firstly as colleagues were crowned best dementia team at the prestigious National Dementia Care Awards and, secondly, when the home became the first run by one of the five largest providers to achieve the coveted ‘outstanding’ rating from the CQC. 


In January, residents from our care homes across the country took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. We provided homes with bird feeders, seed and useful guides to help residents identify the visitors to their gardens. The project helps to re-kindle interests in birdwatching and wildlife and is calming for those residents living with dementia.

In April, our third booklet giving advice to those caring for loved ones with dementia was launched by broadcaster Angela Rippon. Called, Good to go, it highlights how important it is for people living with dementia – and their carers – to get out and about, and the emotional and physical benefits of staying active.

Also in April, Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, which was one of the first independent sector hospitals, celebrated its 10th anniversary. We’ve run the centre since it opened and treated tens of thousands of NHS patients from across the South West.

May and June saw us re-commissioned to run health services at Southampton NHS Treatment Centre and HMP Chelmsford and, in July, we opened a trio of new, state-of-the-art care homes in East Anglia, as we continued our programme of new residential and nursing homes.

The summer also saw the completion of a strategic review into options for our domiciliary care, learning disability and mental health services. That process allowed us to refocus our portfolio and strengthen our position for future growth within the health and residential care sectors.

As autumn approached we were selected as the preferred bidder to run St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre and towards the end of the year we launched Practice Assist – a new service that supports independent GP partners to improve the clinical effectiveness and administrative efficiency of community-based surgeries through a dedicated centralised hub.


We begin the year with an innovative first, launching the UK’s first Google Business View tour of an NHS hospital.

In March, we are awarded the healthcare contracts for HMP Brixton and HMP Pentonville, further consolidating our position as the largest single provider of health care to HM Prison Service.

May sees the launch of the Care UK Wellbeing Foundation, its mission to fund national charities and local good causes that are helping to create and sustain the wellbeing of people in their communities.

In June we open the first of 10 state-of-the-art care homes across Suffolk as part of our £60 million investment plan to help transform older people’s care, in a partnership with Suffolk County Council.

July sees the opening of our Perry Manor care home in Worcester and Asterbury Place In Ipswich, both offering the very best in residential care as well as invaluable advice and support for relatives. Our team at Emersons Green Day Centre in Bristol win the Gold award from the British Association of Day Surgery for their research into new approaches to anaesthesia.

The summer also sees an ‘end of life’ suite opened at HMP Holme House, Stockton on Tees, illustrating our ability to focus on the full range of care needed in a challenging setting. This is confirmed in the autumn by our winning of the contract to provide health care to prisoners at HMP Dovegate, moving the number of prisons and young offender institutions supported by Care UK to 22.

Davers Court care home and wellbeing centre opens to residents and visitors in August in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, as part of our partnership with the county council.

October brings more plaudits when the team at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre in Somerset receive the Nursing Practice Award at the Laing & Buisson Independent Healthcare Awards for their work on reducing the number of falls suffered by patients. In the same month, Lisa Morris, head chef at our Ambleside care home in Stratford-upon-Avon is announced the winner of the Nutrition and Hydration Award at the Great West Midlands Care Awards 2014.

In November, Mountfitchett House in Stanstead, Essex opens its doors to its first residents. In addition to nursing and residential care, Mountfitchet House also provides specialist care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and short-term respite care.

The end of the year brings the opening of Britten Court care home, in Lowestoft, the fourth of our new Suffolk homes to be completed.


We begin the year by rolling out new community-based NHS ultrasound services across 14 regions in the UK.

March sees a ground-breaking Recovery and Rehabilitation Partnership between Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Care UK to transform the lives of people with mental health conditions.

In May we open a brand new registered independent hospital in Walsall for people with mental health conditions. It offers three distinct services - intensive rehabilitation, step-down rehabilitation and complex care supported living with a strong emphasis on recovery and rehabilitation.

Over the summer, we publish a new guide to activity based care As Easy as ABC, to help families caring for a loved one living with dementia.

The Autumn brings accolades as we are named the top organisation in the prestigious 2013 Laing’s Healthcare 20 – a list set up three years ago to throw a spotlight on the work of the most interesting and exciting organisations currently working in UK health care.

We also celebrate the first anniversary of our partnership with Suffolk County Council, holding a ‘topping out’ ceremony at the new Davers Court care home and wellbeing centre in Bury St Edmunds. This forms part of our £60 million three-year plan for ten similar new developments. A project we look forward to progressing in 2014.


In May we launch a new project, Riverbank, to provide rehabilitation and support for people living with mental health needs in Hull. The site helps service users to work towards living independently, rather than in an institutional setting.

June sees us appoint three specialist dementia trainers – Gill Winter, Andrew Potts and Mark Harrison - to roll out our award-winning dementia training and care programme.

In August we acquire Whitwood Care, a successful operator of three adult residential care homes in West Yorkshire.

Our new care homes programme continues in September with the opening of a brand new, purpose-built home at Mill View in East Grinstead.

Beat, a leading national campaigning eating disorders charity awards Rhodes Farm its Assured Quality Mark, recognising its quality of service.

In November we acquire healthcare provider, Harmoni, in a move designed to improve unscheduled NHS care and reduce waiting times, as well as pressure on NHS acute services.


We acquire Rhodes Farm Clinic, which treats eating disorders in young people. We sell our children’s residential services business to Keys Education and Care Ltd.

Heather View, the first of our new case homes, opens in Crowborough, East Sussex during the summer. These purpose-built, luxury care homes are designed to meet the growing demand for innovative, modern care services for older people, particularly those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Late summer sees four of Care UK’s treatment centres receive a full A-status Joint Advisory Group (JAG) accreditation. The centres include Greater Manchester’s CATS service, the first mobile endoscopy service ever to receive JAG accreditation. The accreditation also recognises our clinical audit strategy which resulted in the creation of a falls prevention programme at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre.

In November the Dr Foster Hospital Guide names Care UK as the best for hip replacement operations. We also feature in the top ten of best performing hospitals for knee replacement operations.

The dedication of Care UK’s staff in residential homes across the country is acknowledged at the 2011 National Dementia Care Awards. Nominated in five of the 12 categories, we come away with three awards that recognise outstanding service in caring for people with dementia. 

Late in the year we complete the transfer of 25 care homes formerly operated by Southern Cross Healthcare Group Plc.


In March, private equity group Bridgepoint becomes the major shareholder in Care UK. The move enables us to continue to invest in new facilities and to expand our range of innovative and high quality services. We de-list from the London Stock Exchange on April 27 and change our name to Care UK Ltd.

In April, when our five year contract to run the Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre ends, we are granted a six month extension to run the contract. We later go on to run this extremely successful treatment centre with no guarantee of income from the local PCTs. Instead we’re paid on an innovative procedure-by-procedure basis.

In June we win the contract to run the Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre, delivering a range of services to the people of Bradford, Airedale and Leeds for NHS Bradford and Airedale.

In December we sell the fostering division of our children's services to CareTech.


In February we launch a brand new, state-of-the-art mobile assessment and treatment service: Greater Manchester CATS. In just four weeks it receives over 1,000 referrals from local doctors. We also launch a number of new GP-led health centres, bringing the total operated by Care UK to 11.


Another busy year for Care UK as we acquire the remaining 50 per cent share of Partnership Health Group (PGH), giving us full ownership of this company that operates independent sector treatment centres (ISTC) for the NHS.

We also win another contract to build and operate another ISTC in Southampton, and this begins operating in October. We now operate a total of ten ISTCs.


In March, Care UK launches its first treatment centre in London. The North East London NHS Treatment Centre provides extra capacity and choice in health care for the one million people living in the local area. This year also sees us acquire Mercury Health, and we’re appointed as preferred provider for Greater Manchester Clinical Assessment & Treatment Service (CATS).


We’re commissioned to deliver primary care services in Newcastle, London, Luton, and Barking and Dagenham. We also achieve another ‘first’ as we open our first GP practice and walk-in centre (in Dagenham).


In September we’re awarded two new learning disability contracts to provide supported living services in Staffordshire and Lancashire for young adults with complex needs.


We acquire Althea Park, a care provider specialising in treating eating disorders and self harm. This year also sees us entering the primary care market, by winning a GP out-of-hours contract in south east Essex.


We form a joint venture with Afrox Healthcare to bid for independent sector treatment centre (ISTC) contracts from the NHS. Together we win three contracts. Meanwhile we continue building our children’s services by acquiring a 75 per cent stake in Corvedale Holdings.


We’re delighted when Mike Parish joins us as Chief Executive of Care UK. Previously he was a director at Exel PLC, a FTSE 100 supply chain solutions provider.


We continue building on our success by winning some big contracts in both the residential and homecare sectors. Our reputation and the total service we provide is central to our success in this field. This year also sees us sign a twelve-year contract with the London Borough of Hillingdon, covering four homes. Surrey County Council also appoints us as manager of its seven residential homes. 


We acquire ARC Healthcare, which provides care for people with mental health conditions.  In October we create the Care UK Mental Health Partnerships division in response to the rapid growth of our work in this area. The division provides services for over 300 adults with mental health needs across 13 locations.


Continuing our acquisition plans, we acquire The Care Partnership and its seven homecare branches in Hampshire and along the south coast.


We acquire learning disabilities provider, Care Solutions Limited, which manages homes and services in Newcastle, Bradford, Staffordshire and Guildford.


In early March we change our name from Anglia Secure Homes to Care UK Plc.


We launch a new homecare service called Haven Care.


Just two years later we begin the year by gaining a full listing on the London Stock Exchange. August sees us open our first care home at Little Holland Hall.


Haven Management Services Limited becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Anglia Secure Homes plc, and we join the Unlisted Securities Market in July of this year (at this point we were too small to qualify for a full listing on the London Stock Exchange).


We began life in Essex as Anglia Secure Homes, a specialist provider of retirement homes and sheltered housing.