Patchwork, a rapidly growing health-tech start-up on a mission to solve the NHS staffing crisis and bring flexible working to thousands of clinicians has secured £3m in a funding round led by Praetura Ventures. The round included additional backing from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and some existing angel investors.
Patchwork was founded by NHS doctors Anas Nader and Jing Ouyang in 2016 to help hospitals fill vacant shifts more cost-effectively and to stem the tide of clinicians leaving the health service due to poor work-life balance. Healthcare staffing is a growing and costly problem for the NHS; the number of staff quitting over long hours tripled between 2012 and 2018, and the NHS spent £2.4bn on staffing agencies in 2018 to fill the gaps.
Through tailored portals for NHS Trusts and a simple, hassle free app for clinicians, Patchwork is able to dramatically drive up the number of clinicians booking shifts directly with their hospital. As a result, NHS Trusts keep their hiring in-house; saving millions in agency fees whilst ensuring wards are safely staffed. Plus, clinicians looking for more flexibility are able to take on shifts that suit them, improving retention and staff satisfaction, without creating a financial burden for their hospitals. More than 10,000 clinicians across over 30 hospitals already use the Patchwork app, with over 1 million shift hours booked since launch.
This investment was led by Mark Lyons and Louise Chapman of Praetura Ventures. David Foreman, managing director of Praetura Ventures, will join the Patchwork board as a non-executive director.
This funding will enable Patchwork to accelerate growth and foster partnerships with more NHS Trusts across England and Wales. With the support of the team at Praetura Ventures, Patchwork also plans to further invest in the development of its proprietary software to enable the roll out across different staff groups within the NHS and support future expansion into the GP and private medical sector.
Mark Lyons, director at Praetura Ventures, added:
“We were impressed by the amount of traction that Patchwork has gained in the market in such a short period of time and there are many more exciting opportunities for the business to explore in other areas of healthcare. We’re confident in the team that Anas and Jing have built and are looking forward to supporting them as they embark on the next stage of their growth strategy.”
PMSI worked closely with both Praetura Ventures and Patchwork in providing CDD support for the deal.
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