A DORSET law firm has launched a new healthcare division to boost support for care providers in the rapidly growing sector.

Ellis Jones Solicitors aims to help new and existing clients navigate an increasingly complex maze of compliance and seize new opportunities in the market.

Its healthcare team together has more than 100 years of experience and includes partner and head of business services Neil Cook, who has owned and run his own care home, as well as senior associate solicitor Henrietta Frew, who will take the lead in dealing with any disputes, inquests and CQC related issues.

Nigel Smith, Ellis Jones managing partner, said: “The health and care sector is growing rapidly to meet the complex needs of our ageing population.

“There’s an increasing requirement for care homes, domiciliary care and assisted living accommodation as well as specialist social and medical care yet the pressure of regulatory compliance continues to grow.

“Specialist commercial legal advice is absolutely vital whether it’s to assist in the purchase of a care business, provide support for regulatory compliance, deal with any disputes, manage an exit or deal with difficulties created by the pandemic.

“Our new Healthcare service brings together highly skilled experts in their respective fields who have been chosen for their knowledge, experience and passion to provide the greatest support in what can be an incredibly challenging yet rewarding sector.”

As well as care providers, they will advise others in the sector including GP practices, dental surgeries, pharmacies, nurseries and rehabilitation specialists.

According to latest ONS statistics, 19 per cent of the UK population is aged 65 and over. Total healthcare spending stands at an annual £225 billion.

Ellis Jones has more than 160 staff and 18 partners, with offices in Swanage, Wimborne, Bournemouth, Poole and Ringwood as well as London.