Charles Wrightson, Financial Controller at Canford HealthcareCharles Wrightson has become Canford Healthcare’s new financial controller. He manages the finance team, which is based in the company’s Bournemouth office, supported by finance manager Amparo Folgado.

Charles, who is a Chartered Certified Accountant, has a wealth of senior-level experience across a variety of sectors including industry, retail and healthcare.

Gifted in maths and economics, Charles initially intended to study engineering and follow in the footsteps of his father, an electrical engineer. Sadly, he died when Charles and his twin brother were just 17, and Charles studied finance at Bangor University instead. On the North Wales coast and a stone’s throw from Snowdonia, this was a perfect location for someone who grew up in the New Forest and loves the outdoor life as much as Charles does.

After university Charles joined a cable manufacturing firm “to see how business really worked”, studying for his formal accountancy qualification in his spare time. Once qualified he moved to a convenience store retailer with 2000 outlets where he dealt with the accounts, forecasted cash flow and invested surplus cash. Five years later Charles was hired by American firm Shire Pharmaceuticals to lead the ‘transactional finance’ function – invoices in and out, billing, accounts payable and purchase orders. He particularly enjoyed visiting the company’s headquarters in Philadelphia, using these trips as a springboard to see other parts of the US, including Disneyworld in Florida.

It seemed like a natural move from pharmaceuticals into healthcare, and so Charles spent several years with various private hospitals, including a £50m Nuffield Health hospital in Oxford where he oversaw a team of 11 as finance manager. After five happy years, despite a daily commute of 130 miles, Charles decided to take some time out.

Sailing had always been a real passion. He fondly remembers trips to the Channel Islands and France as a boy on his parents’ family boat. So, he could think of nothing better to do than spend six months as a river hand on the Beaulieu River. “I was driving a little boat, helping to moor people’s boats, taking mooring fees and just watching the wildlife. In fact, my boat was my office. The stillness and tranquillity of life on the water did me so much good,“ he says.

Following this idyllic oasis of peace and calm, Charles came to Canford Healthcare. He is actually no stranger to residential care, as his RGN mother was a matron in a nursing home.

As financial controller Charles is responsible for billing as well as accounts payable and received. He deals with auditors, completes month-end accounts, prepares the company’s statutory year-end accounts and works with chief financial officer, Stephen Bates, on setting the company’s annual budget.

One of his key tasks for his first few months is to improve the flow of reporting and communications from our 11 homes to the support offices.

“It’s about putting in place simple processes to ensure that all the homes are doing the same. I’m also keen to work more closely with the local authorities to better understand their funding processes,” he adds.

Away from work, Charles and wife Michelle, a palliative care doctor in a hospice, spend many quiet weekends on their boat watching the wildlife and letting the world go by. The couple, who got to know each other as students while working at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, have been married for 25 years. Daughter Amy, 21, is studying human geography at the University of Reading. A trained lifeguard, Amy spends her summers travelling the world as a pool supervisor with P&O Cruises.