Telling the truth about SME life today

From start-up to sale

Barbara Scandrett started homecare services company Complete Group in 1995 when she saw a niche in the market for a more sophisticated type of care for the profoundly disabled.

“I was a social worker in the Oswestry spinal injuries unit,” she says. “A lot of clients who went home from the unit were profoundly disabled and the type of care they could get was only a few hours each day; it didn’t allow them to have an independent life.

“I contacted some other individuals who were interested in developing a new service and we invested £5,000 and launched Complete Care in Telford. I was still employed by the NHS so worked for the company part-time and without pay.”

Fast-forward to 2008 and turnover is now £22m. Scandrett, together with long-time investors Sovereign Capital, recently sold the company to Claimar Care for £33m. However, Scandrett has no plans to retire.

“The company no longer belongs to me but it will always be my baby. That’s what happens when you live, eat and sleep it for 12 years. Over the next couple of years I’d quite like to step down slightly from the day-to-day operations but get involved more at the corporate level. I look forward to working with Claimar.”

A longer version of this article will appear in the February issue of Real Business.

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