Dutch dementia care provider targets UK south east
Castleoak, Mike Parsons and Dutch operator in new venture to create Martha Flora UK
Established European specialist dementia care operator Martha Flora has joined forces with care sector development specialists Castleoak and operating partner Mike Parsons to create Martha Flora UK.
Amsterdam-based Martha Flora operates specialist boutique dementia care homes across the Netherlands with 13 homes currently open or under construction.
As part of the joint venture Castleoak will provide specialist land finding and acquisition services, will manage the planning process, and design and build the high quality specialist care homes. Care sector entrepreneur Mike Parsons and his team will commission and operate the new facilities and Martha Flora will provide the brand, intellectual property and operational support.
A new company Martha Flora UK Ltd has been established and will be jointly owned by the three parties, with development and construction partner Castleoak taking a stake in a specialist dementia care business for the first time.
An initial programme of 10 specialist dementia care homes is planned across the South East. These will follow the tried and tested Dutch model, with two households of 12 suites and 4 or 6 two-bedroomed apartments for couples. A number of sites are under negotiation and Martha Flora UK hopes to start its first project in 2018.
“We’re delighted to be launching this new and exciting venture” said Marco Ouwehand, founder of Martha Flora NL.
“Combining Castleoak’s specialist development and construction team with Mike Parson’s operational knowledge enables us to create Martha Flora UK, and the opportunity to bring our successful model of dementia care to the UK.”
Castleoak executive chairman Mel Knight, who has joined the Board of Martha Flora UK said the initial focus would be on acquiring sites.
“These can be smaller than typical care home sites,” he said. “Up to one acre in affluent South East towns, and Castleoak would welcome approaches from landowners, developers and agents with suitable opportunities.”
The dementia care model was created by Marco Ouwehand and based on academic research. Offering spacious accommodation, and encouraging independent living in a familiar homely setting, a Martha Flora dementia care home provides highly personalised care and support.
Mike Parsons, who founded high-end provider Barchester Healthcare, said Martha Flora would take specialist dementia care to a new level with a care philosophy and design the like of which does not exist in the UK.
“We have a lot to learn from the Dutch,” he said. “It was exciting creating Barchester and taking it from one care home to 220. This is equally exciting and brings a fantastic and compassionate dementia care service to the UK.”
Martha Flora opened its first home in The Hague in 2013 and Gouda in 2014, with a further six homes opening in Bavel, Haarlem, Hoorn, Lochem, Maastricht and Twello between 2014 and 2016. Five new homes in Bosch and Duin, Hilversum, Oegstgeest and Rotterdam will open in 2017 and 2018.