Grandmother inspires growing care firm to create 25 jobs

A former NHS worker has created 25 new jobs after starting her own care business because she was unhappy with the way her elderly grandmother was looked after.

Attentive Care Experts was founded in April 2013 and one year on has just moved into larger premises in Birkenshaw, Kirklees, with support from Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance.

The fast-growing firm, which provides domiciliary care to the elderly, disabled and those suffering long-term illnesses that affect their mobility, is on track to achieve revenues of £200,000 in its first year of trading, which it expects to triple to £600,000 in year two.

The family business, which operates across West Yorkshire, is currently recruiting staff at the rate of up to eight a month and credits word of mouth for its growing reputation.

Company director Kirsty James was inspired to set up her first business after her grandmother Frances became poorly and needed some extra help at home.

Former NHS dietician Kirsty was disappointed with the care that her grandmother was receiving, so joined forces with her husband Nick James to set up Attentive Care Experts, which they initially ran from their home in Drighlington, Leeds.

They later teamed up with fellow director Kevin Swaine, who is also a former NHS worker.

Today Attentive Care Experts, which is also a Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking customer, employs 25 carers and a management team of four, and looks after service users aged between 32 and 100-years-old, mainly in Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees.

Kirsty said:

“When my grandmother Frances was ill she was keen to stay in her own home and we set about looking for a suitable homecare provider.

“The carers didn’t do anything wrong, but they didn’t make her feel special, loved or valued. To us, these are basic requirements of any care package.

“The relationship with a carer is very personal. We design a care plan around a person’s needs and it is constantly updated.

“We know what service users want because we have been service users ourselves.”

Kirsty also credited the support her business received from Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance.

That includes a £50,000 factoring facility, which gives Attentive access to up to 90 per cent of the value of its issued invoices, often within 24 hours.

Around half of Attentive Care Experts’ service users have their care paid for by their local authority or the NHS, so the firm faced waiting 30 days for payment.

The factoring facility freed up working capital, allowing staff to be paid.

Charlotte Jackson, regional manager, Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, said:

“Attentive Care Experts has great potential and factoring has helped boost its cashflow, allowing it to keep growing.

“The facility is flexible, so for growing firms like this, with its turnover increasing rapidly, the facility will grow with the business instead of acting as a fixed level of funding.”

Caption Kirsty James (grey dress), Nick James (blue suit), Kevin Swaine (check shirt), Charlotte Jackson (flowery top) (25)
Caption Kirsty James (second left, Nick James (second right) Kevin Swaine and Charlotte Jackson

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