LONDON, August 29, 2018
Florence is an online platform that enables care home managers to ease staffing pressures by booking freelance nurses for extra shifts. Started in 2016 by an NHS doctor, Florence aims to tackle the growing crisis surrounding nurse recruitment in the UK by providing a technology driven marketplace that most effectively uses these precious resources.
The UK is facing a perfect storm in the recruitment of nursing staff with over 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies across the country. Last year the Nursing and Midwifery Council reported fewer nurses joining the professional register than those leaving driven in part by a reduction in EU registrants following Brexit.
In response to this shortfall, over £1bn was spent last year on temporary staffing in social care. Of this, hundreds of millions of pounds was frittered away in recruitment agency fees.
Florence helps care homes cut out these recruitment agencies saving over £100 per shift. Nurses can work when they want whilst earning a significantly higher hourly rate. An in-platform rating system drives up accountability, giving nurses the chance to raise concerns about potentially unsafe working environments and allowing care homes to provide constructive feedback about a nurse’s work.
Whilst the financial benefits of Florence are important, it is raising the quality of care that drives the team. Dr. Armitage, co-founder and Managing Director says: “Like almost everyone in the country, I have first-hand experience of a loved-one living in a care home. It’s so important to know that there are transparent mechanisms for managers and nurses to provide feedback, both positive and negative. I wouldn’t want my family member living in an environment where that didn’t exist.”
This round of funding was led by Waverly Capital, a New York-based early-stage venture investor focused on healthcare & biotech, financial services and consumer goods and an existing investor in Florence. Richard Villiers, CEO of Waverly Group: “We have got to know the Florence team well over the past twelve months and have been impressed by their ability to execute in this complex marketplace. The platform they have built is delivering value to all of the stakeholders in the industry (the care home operators, nurses and patients) and we are excited to support their roll-out across the country.”
Further funding was provided by Rianta Capital, the private family office of Tom Singh, Founder of New Look.
Currently Florence is facilitating over 5,000 hours of nursing work per week across the South East and North West of England. With this investment, they plan to expand the marketplace across all of England and Wales. They will also invest heavily in supporting tools for nurses including training and professional development.
Florence is an online platform that lets care home managers ease staffing pressures by booking freelance nurses for extra shifts. Founded in 2016, the company operates out of London’s tech community but has presence across the UK.
Charles Armitage (Founder)
Email: [email protected]