MHA Moore and Smalley advises specialist residential care provider on new investment

MHA Moore and Smalley is proud to have supported a Cumbria-based client in securing new investment which will help it expand its specialist support for children.

A Wilderness Way (AWW), a provider of specialist residential childcare and crisis intervention services, has secured backing from BGF to support its continued investment in providing critical care to vulnerable children.

BGF has invested for a minority stake in AWW which has a portfolio of 20 properties across Northern England and Scotland.

Founded by Geoff Jenkinson and Clare Houghton in 2007, AWW has established itself as a leading provider of high-acuity, life-changing residential care for children at significant risk from exploitation, violence, crime and abuse.

BGF’s funding will be used to develop AWW’s unique provision of individualised care which delivers trauma-informed therapeutic care with contextualised safeguarding to keep vulnerable young people safe. AWW’s approach promotes the focus on developing young people’s self-esteem and confidence through outdoor adventure activities and re-engagement in meaningful learning through AWW’s individualised education programme.

Geoff Jenkinson, CEO of AWW, commented: “BGF’s ethos and values are well aligned with those that we hold so dear at A Wilderness Way, allowing us to continue to put quality of care and education of our children at the forefront of everything that we do.

“Quality, creativity, safety and creating opportunity for some of the most marginalised children in society is what we have excelled in over the last 13 years, and we are confident that this partnership and investment will allow us to develop further in accordance with our values.”

MHA Moore and Smalley’s corporate finance and tax teams advised the shareholders of AWW on the deal.

Simon Carruthers, corporate finance director at MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “Having worked with Geoff, Clare and the team for many years, we knew their ambition, strong management structure and clear plan for growth would be a great fit for an investor like BGF. It’s been incredibly pleasing to help put this deal together and see Geoff and Clare’s and their wider management team’s hard work rewarded.

“A Wilderness Way provides strong outcomes for children because of its commitment to the highest quality care that has been at its heart since starting the business in 2007. The investment and additional expertise offered by BGF will help the management team take the business to the next level and provide that exceptional support for even more children across the region.”

Harry Jones, investor at BGF, said: “AWW has established itself as a truly differentiated provider that delivers exceptional outcomes for the young people in its care.

“As a business that focuses on delivering social purpose, we are delighted that our investment will help to mobilise additional services to provide for the overwhelming demand for these services.”

AWW will be joined by Fiona Lowry, who has been appointed as Non-Executive Chair. Fiona brings a wealth of experience to the role, having founded several successful businesses in the Healthcare sector, including The Good Care Group, a former BGF portfolio company.

As part of the BGF deal, AWW has implemented a new organisational structure, establishing a leadership platform that can continue to deliver services of excellence and a structure of governance that ensures the safety and progress of children, staff and the organisation. Under the changes, Geoff Jenkinson will remain Chief Executive and Clare Houghton will transition to Multi-Disciplinary Team Director (MDT Director),  responsible for setting the agenda in relation to the therapy model across the organisation and promoting the best interests of children in accordance with the statutory framework.

Robbie Burke, who has worked with AWW as a consultant and Non-Executive Director since 2015, will take on the role of Chief Operating Officer, to oversee quality throughout the organisation, establishing goals for care, education, outdoor education and therapy in partnership with senior managers.

Cheri Jenkinson, who joined the organisation in 2017 as HR Manager will take on the role of Director of People and Organisation. Cheri will be a member of the Executive Board and accountable for the performance of the P and O function, as well as providing strategic counsel on all people matters.

BGF’s investment will support the growth and development of more services to the most vulnerable young people across the United Kingdom.

BGF’s Pinesh Mehta led the deal and Harry Jones will join the AWW board. BGF was advised by Hill Dickinson. AWW advised Browne Jacobson.

New to Partnership Payment Scheme

The 2020/21 GP Contract deal included the offer of golden hello payments to GPs and other healthcare professionals taking up partnership roles for the first time from 1 April 2020.

The launch of the scheme was deferred due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but full guidance has now been released.

The scheme has been rolled out in a bid to attract new partners into General Practice, having seen the number of full-time equivalent GP Partners fall considerably over the past four years.

Who is eligible for the funding?

The scheme is open to individuals who are eligible to become partners as per the NHS Act 2006, working in general practice, including, but not limited to GPs, Nurses (including ANP), Pharmacists and Physiotherapists.

Initial guidance for the scheme had excluded practice managers from the list of eligible roles but NHS England primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani has since confirmed that the £20,000 golden hellos for new partners in England would be extended to cover practice managers taking on partnership roles.

Participants must commit to holding a partnership role for 5 years and they must not have previously been a partner in England.  Partners must also be working a minimum of 2 sessions per week.

There is an annual eligibility check and reconciliation process which participants  agree to when they apply for the funding.

What funding is available?

A payment of £20,000 will be paid to successful applicants.  Those working less than full time can apply to the scheme, but the payment sum will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

If the new partner  increases or decreases their  hours during the five-year term, the payment will be adjusted proportionately to the hours worked, subject to the cap.

The amount will be paid to GMS and PMS practices in one lump sum but is intended to be  passed to the new partner.  Successful APMS participants will have the payment made in line with the length of the APMS contract.

Any partners who leave the partnership before the end of the five year term will have to repay 20% of the funding for each year not completed. We would therefore recommend that the lump sum payment is not directly withdrawn from the practice, but instead is utilized as the new partner’s initial buy in fund for their share of the working capital of the practice.

There is also a training fund of up to £3,000 available to support early partnership skills development.  This funding is not linked to the number of sessions worked.

Participants would need to select what training they need, and it must be started within the first year of accepting the partnership role.  Any training must be paid for and then reimbursement claimed from NHS England.  Reimbursement will not happen until the partner has been in the post for a year.

Will I pay tax on this income?

The funding will form part of your partnership profits and so is subject to tax and national insurance, at your marginal rates, however the funding is supported by a further 20% contribution to tax and national insurance. The whole amount will not be taxed on receipt as there is potential for claw back, so an amount equivalent to 1/5 will be taxable each year

NHS England have advised that the income is not pensionable, although this is subject to parliamentary approval, and so there should be no associated NHS Pension Scheme contributions in relation to this income by the practice or the individual.

How do I apply?

The scheme is open to applicants from 1 July 2020 and an application form is available at and initially applications should be emailed to

If you would like any further information regarding this, please speak with a member of our healthcare services  team.

Returning NHS workers targeted by tax avoidance promoters

Many thousands of former NHS workers have returned to frontline services to assist in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.  HMRC very quickly issued a note advising that these returning workers were being targeted by unscrupulous promoters of tax avoidance schemes.  These schemes are typically offered through umbrella companies and boast the attractive outcome of being able to take home around 85% of your gross pay after all deductions.

The payments from such companies will frequently fall into two categories.  The first will be a relatively small salary, with the appropriate payslip and proper deductions of PAYE at source.  The second payment will be higher and described as something other than salary, often being referred to as a loan, but also perhaps as an annuity, shares or some other credit facility.  HMRC consider this second payment as disguised remuneration and will raise an enquiry to challenge such methods of payment.  They have frequently won these challenges, and so returning NHS workers need to be very careful what they sign themselves up for as they may end up liable for large amounts of underpaid tax.  If they don’t know fully what they’ve signed themselves up for, they should seek professional advice.

Below is a copy of the relevant HMRC note concerning this:

David Walker

Healthcare Services Senior Tax Manager

01253 404404

Help for care homes – Infection Control Fund

In May, the Government announced a £600 million Infection Control Fund available for care homes.

The information on the Government website states:

  • £600 million Infection Control Fund to reduce transmission of coronavirus in care homes
  • This forms part of wider support for care home residents and staff, including by limiting staff movement, protecting wages and giving access to NHS personal protective equipment (PPE) training
  • Each care home in England to be given a named clinical lead to provide direct care for residents
  • A wellbeing package will be also launched on CARE Workforce app to support the workforce with Hospice UK and Samaritans


Please speak to your local authority to establish what your care home is due to receive. We are aware that some local authorities are asking for retrospective evidence of how it has, or will be, spent. 

Information correct as at 10 June 2020.

PPE portal for small care providers

Over the next three weeks, small care homes and small domiciliary care providers will be invited to join a new online portal to order PPE.

The PPE Portal has been developed in collaboration with eBay to help primary and social care providers to order PPE.

A small residential social care provider is defined as one with 24 beds or fewer. A small domiciliary care provider has 99 clients or fewer.

Over the next few weeks, DHSC will be continuing to send out invites to small residential and domiciliary social care services, enabling them to order PPE online through the portal.

For further information on the content of this blog, please contact Deborah Wood on 01253 404404 or email

Blackpool medical accountancy expert appointed to lead influential body

A leading local accountancy expert has been appointed chairman of an influential network of firms specialising in the medical sector.

Deborah Wood, partner at MHA Moore and Smalley, was announced as chairman of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) on May 18.

AISMA is a network of UK accountancy firms specialising in the medical and healthcare sector which share knowledge, liaise with a number of government departments on key medical accountancy issues and promote the benefits of quality accountancy to doctors and medical practices.

Deborah has been involved with AISMA since it was established in 1995 and previously held the role of vice chair.

She said: “It has been a pleasure to work with and on behalf of AISMA over the past 25 years and I’m looking forward to what the next 25 hold for the organisation.

“As chairman, I would like to ensure that we continue developing the excellent relationships we have built with the British Medical Association, HMRC, NHS Pensions, NHS England/NHS Improvement, PCSE and their respective bodies and representatives in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“This will allow us to represent the views of all clients of AISMA member firms for the long term sustainability of general practice and to promote the benefits of having high quality, highly knowledgeable specialist accountants and advisors available to work with GPs and their practices.

“A key area of my role in AISMA to date has been to support the training needs of our member firms and I am keen to ensure this hugely beneficial programme continues.”

Deborah is resident partner at MHA Moore and Smalley’s Blackpool office and leads the firm’s specialist healthcare services department. She is also chairman of the Moore and Smalley partnership.

Using her expertise, she has led AISMA’s representation of the sector on a range of key issues particularly relating to the complexities of the NHS pension scheme. This has included responding to government consultations regarding the pension tax charge implications of annual allowance taper rules which were finally addressed in the last budget.

AISMA Doctor Newswire – May 2020 25th Anniversary Special

In celebration of AISMA’s 25th anniversary, there is a special edition of AISMA newline.

The newsletter features the all time top 25 tips for GPs and practice managers, including advice on

  • practice accounts
  • business planning
  • cash flow
  • pensions
  • property
  • recruitment
  • tax.

The issue also takes a look back at the history of AISMA, and a reminder of the AISMA Charter.

There is also a statement from Deborah Wood, Healthcare Services Partner, who has been appointed Chairman of AISMA.