Case study: Veincentre

29-01-2024

Providing high quality, affordable treatment in an area lacking NHS funding – Veincentre is the UK’s leading clinic specialising in state-of-the-art treatment for varicose veins.

Partnering with a visionary vein service – Veincentre was founded in 2003 by internationally renowned clinician Dr David West and his wife Deborah, who spotted a gap in the market for a business offering a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment for varicose veins called Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) which is safer, more effective and durable than traditional surgery with most patients able to return to work and other activities immediately.

We saw significant growth potential in Veincentre through driving organic growth at existing sites and the roll-out of new clinics across the UK, supported by a growing  market. We were impressed by the management’s reputation in the market and their focus on quality of care, which was attractive to consultants who worked with the group.

We invested £7.5m into the business, and Palatine partner, Beth Houghton and Senior Investment Director, James Painter joined the board as Non-Executive Directors.

Going for growth with added value  

Digital marketing – We introduced the business to a digital marketing agency, Open Partners, who helped professionalise the marketing function. We also supported the recruitment of Mike Casewell, who joined the team as the Marketing Director. These appointments were instrumental to the 229% increase in website sessions, which drove a 270% increase in enquiries and a 178% increase in consultations between 2019 and 2022. Veincentre also delivered a significant increase in leads whilst maintaining efficiency by moving away from radio advertising to more effective digital channels.

Clinic Roll-Out – During our investment, Veincentre grew the number of clinics from seven to twenty-two, enabling the business to become the leading independent varicose vein specialist in the UK. We supported the team in professionalising the site selection and roll-out process and encouraged the team to broaden the consultant base to ensure the business could meet the increased demand across existing and new clinics.

People – We significantly invested in the senior team as the business transitioned from a family-owned business to a scalable platform. A new CEO, Maurice McLoughlin, was recruited internally, and new hires to the team included a Finance Director, Marketing Director, Medical Director, Operations Director, Quality Manager and Chairman. The new senior team added significant strength and depth with extensive experience in the sector and delivery of growth.

ESG – Veincentre focused more on HR across the business by creating a new Clinic Manager role, reducing working hours, introducing flexible hours and delivering wellbeing initiatives. They also recruited a ‘Head of Quality and Patient Safety’ role to oversee quality and compliance. Veincentre signed up to City of Trees and provided volunteering opportunities for the team.

Returns with purpose – We exited the business in 2022 in a sale to  CBPE Capital. Throughout our investment, revenue increased by 180%, and the number of patients treated increased by 117%. We focused on increasing the accessibility and affordability of treatments, which improved access to varicose vein treatment and alleviated the burden on the NHS.

I am very proud of what the team has achieved and grateful for the support offered by Palatine over the last four years. Our strategy has been to grow our clinic base to make our services more accessible whilst maintaining our high levels of clinical excellence, helping more people get successful treatment for their varicose veins.

Maurice McLoughlin

CEO of Veincentre