THE country’s largest and just-launched residential care home group is headed up by a West Cork man.
BlackBee Group this week launched a €250m healthcare investment fund, and the creation of Ireland’s largest residential care group called Aperee.
This company is headed up by Paul Kingston, who was born in Castlehaven and grew up in Ballinscarthy.
The fund will initially seek to raise €250m to invest in the acquisition and development of state-of-the-art care homes, with at least one if not two of them in West Cork.
The investment will initially see the construction of 1,000 new state of the art single ensuite beds and the acquisition of 750 existing beds operating under the new brand, Aperee.
Over 1,500 new jobs will be created, 1,000 existing jobs will be sustained and a further 800 will be supported, under these plans, during construction.
A number of target sites and existing homes have already been identified and Aperee expects to acquire two to three homes before the end of 2019. Construction on new sites is set to commence in early 2020.
Kingston, who has over 22 years experience in the residential care sector, said: ‘I am delighted to join such a dynamic team as BlackBee, and we will work together to ensure we deliver exceptional standards of facilities and most importantly care to those who deserve to receive the best of everything. I am also delighted that Alf Smiddy has decided to join as chairperson of the board of Aperee and assist myself and the senior management team on this journey.’
David O’Shea, executive director of BlackBee Group added: ‘Through this innovative healthcare fund, the first of its kind in Ireland, we plan to use private investment to revolutionise the residential care home market.
‘This fund is designed to show how the private sector can actively support the public sector by providing a supply of quality care home beds to meet the rapidly growing demand.
‘Investors will benefit from a real return, while those using the homes will still have prices set by the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
‘Residents and their families will benefit from Aperee’s expertise and a new standard of care at the same cost as its competitors.’
Tánaiste Simon Coveney said: ‘Thankfully we are living healthier and longer lives in Ireland and will need new options for caring for our older population who still have a lot to give.’
The BlackBee Healthcare fund is due to open in September.