How will Brexit impact the UK healthcare sector?

9 October 2018

Franchise News

Written byPhil MacKechnie

How will Brexit impact the UK healthcare sector?

Brexit is on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment. Dividing the opinion of the UK over the last two years, there is wild and varied speculation about what it will do for the fortunes of our economy – especially if we end up with no deal.

Whenever political and economical change is on the horizon, health and social care is often at the forefront of the public’s mind, but with Brexit bringing the prospect of such a large change and numerous micro-campaigns such as the ‘Brexit Bus’ driving home the impact the changing relationship between the UK and rest of Europe may have on the healthcare sector, the Brexit Healthcare Alliance (BHA) was formed. Bringing together the NHS, medical research, patients and public health organisations, the alliance ensures patient safety and wellbeing is maintained and the healthcare sector as a whole plays an important part within discussions.

You may be led to believe that when a new representative body has to be formed to air the voice of one of the most important sectors in the country, the sector must be struggling and bad things are around the corner.

Well, to date, this just is not the case…

Throughout the pre-Brexit campaign and ongoing negotiations, the Radfield Home Care network, operating within healthcare market, is continuing to grow. Since the ‘Leave’ vote was cast all those months ago, our franchise network and others we monitor have continued to grow, the hours of care we are providing is continuing to increase and all-in-all no negative impact has been felt – and indeed, there does not appear to be any problems or downturn on the horizon set to impact the home care franchise model.

When the Brexit news broke on the morning of 23rd June 2016, Radfield Home Care was right in the midst of launching its new franchise opportunity (echoing the launch of its first branch in the midst of the financial crisis of 2008) and was by no means the only business in the UK with a lot of uncertainty about what was round the corner.

However, by the time the EU Article 50 was triggered on 29th March 2017, Radfield’s first two franchise partners had joined the network. By the time Prime Minister, Theresa May’s snap election had taken place on the 8th June 2018, the network had doubled in size to four. After the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis resigned in July 2018, Radfield’s franchise network had doubled again to eight. With enquiries continuing to increase, Radfield looks set to cement is strong and steady franchise network with even more franchises across the country by the time ‘Brexit Day’ arrives in just a few months time on 29th March 2019.

So why is this? How come, even through so much turmoil are UK entrepreneurs looking to launch their own Radfield domiciliary care business in a sector which many see as having an uncertain future? Well, part of it is because of the nature and mindset of entrepreneurs – always looking for a new opportunity, prepared to invest in a calculated risk. However, perhaps more is down to the model Radfield Home Care can offer that is ideally positioned to meet the needs of post-Brexit UK – deal or no deal.

Prior to Brexit, the provision, growth and need for private healthcare had done the rounds in the Houses of Parliament (and local pubs across the country alike) many times. With many different requirements and possibilities, it is difficult to provide a one-size fits all answer to this. However, one thing that is certain is the decline in social funding within the sector is leaving many people without little choice but to look at private healthcare services to fulfil their, and their loved ones’, needs. With the question mark over NHS and government healthcare funding post-Brexit already the key concern, this is also very unlikely to change after we part ways with our nearest foreign neighbours in the coming months.

One particularly prominent area within healthcare that is suffering due to lack of social funding is the the out-of-hospital care space, with local authorities investing less and less in home care services and 80% now paying below the UKHCA’s baseline cost of care – which is where Radfield Home Care’s model benefits, as it helps support local communities with high quality, client focused, private home care for older people.

This model allows franchise partners to remove the worry about declining NHS and local authority healthcare budgets – which removes some of the dependance on whether or not the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not.

As a result, franchise partners that are joining the Radfield network are experiencing strong growth right now, including family partnership, Matthew Nutting and his father in Harrogate, Wetherby & North Yorkshire – a region that is already feeling the impact of Brexit more than most, with an exodus of the foreign workforce that once were the backbone of many industries in the region.

“Recruitment has been nowhere near as difficult as we expected or were told it would be,”

Matthew explained.

“We thought it would be the hardest thing for us, but it has been quite easy. At one point we had to slow down the recruitment of staff as they were coming through far too fast.”

Matthew and his father, Jonathan launched their Radfield Home Care franchise in July 2018 and, after just six weeks, is already close to breaking through their month four targets, with much of this thanks to the private marketplace and providing clients with a high quality service the local authority and other providers were not fulfilling:

“Throughout my career as an Occupational Therapist, I had seen how home care can be done well, but also how it can be done poorly. Our professional understanding and local knowledge helped us spot a gap in the market for people wanting to pay for a premium service in the Harrogate area, so I decided to take the jump and began researching setting up my own business.”

It is because Matthew is operating within this in-demand, high quality, private marketplace that he has been able to afford to become an official Living Wage Employer, something that he contributes to his recruitment success, despite the ‘Brexit Exodus’ the local towns and villages are experiencing.

Matthew’s experience is one of many that Radfield Home Care has experienced in recent months. An experience that strongly suggests Brexit’s impact on the UK healthcare sector may, when we consider the direction the pre-Brexit healthcare industry was going, be very minimal. What’s more, it also presents the opportunity for those looking to give something back to their local communities to develop businesses with a values-first approach, providing high quality care and generating rewarding job opportunities for local residents.

With a little over six months until we discover the true impact of Brexit on 29th March 2019, Radfield Home Care, its network of franchise partners and dozens of enquiries each month are testament to the current strength the healthcare industry is displaying and the confidence many people still have in its economic, social and community value. Something Radfield Home Care has proudly been recognised to achieve.


Phil MacKechnie

Phil MacKechnie

Franchise Development Director

My passion is to help home care business owners start and grow their businesses and promote Radfield’s purpose and mission.

Read more

Useful links

Read full Radfield story Contact us Join our team

Find care near you...

Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.