Life-saving treatments for patients with kidney disease
A new model
When Renal Services launched in 2007, it offered the NHS an alternative way to provide dialysis.
Prior to this, the NHS used vertically integrated product companies to deliver the treatment, which acted as both the manufacturer and service provider – offering no real choice.
As an independent provider, Renal Services is unbiased in its choice of products, and offers a much wider selection of equipment, medical devices and drugs.
Dialysis is the procedure of removing waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys are not working properly.
Renal Services appointed healthcare veteran James Buckley as non-executive chairman after an introduction by BGF.BGF Talent Network
Run by nurses
“We’re able to make decisions based on what is best for the patients and the clinicians delivering the treatment,” says founder and chief executive Stefano Ciampolini. “When we launched, we had to work hard to convince the NHS that we were credible and reliable in delivering this life-saving treatment, but we initially got two NHS Trusts to buy into what we were doing and grew from there.”
Stefano believes this independence, along with the real-life experience of his team, gives Renal Services an edge.
“Unlike our competitors, we’re a company run by nurses,” he explains. “I am the only executive in the business who isn’t a senior nurse, so when we speak to new prospects in the NHS we’re able to speak their language.”
BGF's investment helped Renal Services to...
Build more clinics. The company now operates 21 dialysis units across the UK.
Compete for and win contracts to open and run new centres.
Buy out investors that had been with the company from the start.
A grown-up company
Like many businesses, Renal Services suffered a slowdown during the global financial crisis, but in 2014, it won two new contracts and started looking for a partner to help deliver them.
“I met with BGF and they decided to invest, which enabled us to build three new clinics and furnish them with the equipment and working capital required to operate,” explains Stefano. “It also helped to buy out a handful of investors that had been with us from the beginning.”
As well as investing £3.1 million in growth capital, BGF introduced James Buckley, ex-chief executive of Tunstall Healthcare, to the business. He was appointed non-executive chairman.
“Partnering with BGF marked the point at which Renal Services became a grown-up company,” explains Stefano. “James was instrumental in installing more sophisticated governance, running the board in a more professional manner and making us more investable.”
Partnering with BGF marked the point at which Renal Services became a grown-up company.
Stefano Ciampolini, chief executive of Renal Services
Invested by BGF.
Following BGF’s investment, Renal Services has grown its footprint by opening more dialysis units across the country.
“We’re now four or five times the size we were prior to BGF investing in the company. Having BGF on board has helped us to get debt finance from banks, which we could get very little of before.”
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