The First Forty Years
Liam Tracey is the CEO of Nightingales and has spent his whole career providing care to the elderly.
In 2026, we will be celebrating forty years of caring for the elderly, but Nightingales’ history is not just a timeline of events; it’s a story of pivotal decisions that shaped our identity as a provider of boutique care.
Our journey began in 1986 with the acquisition of Nettlestead Care Home in Bromley. Soon after, Priors Mead in Reigate was purchased and transformed into another care home. Initially similar to others, we have evolved to provide a higher-quality and more focused type of care. We now specialise in boutique care that supports clients discreetly in a delightful environment that doesn’t highlight their frailty.
In the early 1990s, we were among the first to offer care in people’s own homes, a significant deviation from traditional models. Then, in the 2007, we made a further strategic shift to exclusively serve private clients with bespoke care. We moved away from the common practice of privately-funded clients subsidising those who are state-funded, something still common amongst most care providers today, enabling us to enhance our service quality significantly for both our clients and their families.
However, the event we are most proud of is when we began transitioning to employee ownership. Our founder, Nick Bruce, inspired by his doctoral studies, saw this as an elegant solution for his retirement while honouring the contributions of our dedicated staff. This shift not only aligned with our values but has resulted in a more resilient company and higher client satisfaction.
Today, Nightingales remains committed to its unique path. We avoid the drawbacks of larger, impersonal care providers, focusing instead on delivering bespoke, boutique-style care. We continue to innovate in both our home care service and our care homes, creating environments where clients truly enjoy their time with us.
We are also delighted to share our experience to help others, whether you are considering becoming a client of ours or not.