After being established in 1947, NRS is the UK’s market-leading provider of products and services to support independent living at home for the elderly and disabled. H2 Equity Partners acquired NRS in December 2014 when it had sales of £133 million and approximately 800 employees.
NRS plays an integral role within the UK healthcare system by aiming to improve the quality of life and independence of its end users. NRS designs its own assistive living aid products as well supplying third-party products. The assistive living aid products cover a wide range of functions including toileting, bathing, beds, mattresses and hoists. These products allow the elderly or disabled to remain at home rather than moving to care homes or hospitals, or return home from hospital more quickly after treatment and thereby increasing the number of available hospital beds for the NHS.
The majority of NRS’s revenue is from the provision of outsourced integrated community equipment services (ICES) on behalf of Local Authorities to individuals eligible for state aid. The contracts typically last for five to seven years. NRS is responsible for sourcing, purchasing, delivering, installing, maintaining, collecting and recycling products. Contract providers require specialist knowledge to deliver the service given the complexity and high standards required to deliver the service.
NRS is also a multi-channel distributor of own-label and branded daily living aids and products through its Product Sales division. The range of over 3,000 products is sold primarily to (i) individuals ineligible for state aid through NRS’s website (www.nrs-uk.co.uk), online portals and via partnerships; (ii) Local Authorities who have retained their ICES service in-house; (iii) professional users such as physiotherapists; and (iv) other resellers or distributors. This provides a strong platform for sales into the private sector.
The company also provides wheelchair services under a number of contracts to Local Authorities or the NHS, encompassing wheelchair procurement, delivery, collection, maintenance, repair, and reconditioning.
H2 and management worked together to deliver the growth plan with further contract wins, increasing the range of services provided by NRS to Local Authorities including provision of an end-to-end service including clinical assessment. There was also significant investment in new product development and IT capability, supporting stronger operational delivery and customer service levels. The fast-growing Product Sales division, mainly delivered via online channels and also with the acquisition of CCN, strengthened NRS’ reach into the private pay and export market. H2 successfully exited NRS in February 2019 to Graphite Capital with sales of approximately £200 million.