The Group has policies and processes in place to identify, mitigate and manage operational risks. Despite the strength of our policies and procedures we have adopted a model of continuous improvement led by our skilled executive team.
There are a number of key issues which could have a material impact on our reputation, operations or financial performance and these are:
Failure to deliver high standards of care
The Group invests in training and improving its staff, complemented by a comprehensive internal quality and compliance team working under the leadership of our Director of Quality and Performance.
Compliance with regulations, legislation or duties of care in different regulatory and legal structures
Services are regulated by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) or the equivalent in Wales and Scotland. External regulators work closely with our service managers and their Operations Directors.
Attracting, retaining and developing talent
The Group has a proven management structure for each segment with clear principles of delegation and authority supported by written policies and procedures, backed up with a culture of open communication and “whistleblowing” policies.
Significant changes in government policy or legislation in England, Scotland or Wales that impact market opportunities or operating performance
Significant changes in policy or legislation are anticipated, monitored and reported through to the Executive who examine closely any potential impact on the business.
Managing profit margins if movements in operating costs are detrimental relative to changes in fee rates
Weekly monitoring and monthly financial reporting ensures that any movements in operating costs are quickly highlighted and acted upon.
Maintaining occupancy levels
Occupancy is driven by reputation for effectiveness, skill base service availability and the underlying relationships with commissioners. Referrals are dealt with by experienced care staff who try to match local authority placement requirements to our services to retain occupancy levels.
Business continuity is subject to detailed planning and covers events such as pandemic illness, major industrial action, terrorism and extreme weather conditions.
Funding to meet current and future business requirements
The Group monitors its bank facilities regularly to ensure that it has suitable headroom and is making the best use of new financial products. In 2012 the Group's Banking facilities were renegotiated and have been extended to January 2017. Additional facilities from the same syndicate of four lenders were added in August 2013 for a business combination which involved the acquisition of two property portfolio businesses.