The staffing crunch is at its peak in the healthcare sector in the U.K. Nearly half of NHS staff have reported feeling unwell as a result of work-related stress in the last 12 months and 1 in 5 have said they are likely to leave their organisation in the next year. This crisis comes against the backdrop of record waiting lists, with 6.6 million people waiting to start treatment.
Facing the challenge head-on, London-based Patchwork Health is working to reverse the trend. The healthcare workforce platform built by NHS doctors has raised £20 million in funding to tackle the NHS staffing crisis. The Series B round was led by Perwyn and backed by Praetura Ventures and KHP Ventures. They were joined by a range of prominent angel investors, including Monzo founder Tom Blomfield and Social Chain co-founder Dominic McGregor.
Founded in 2016 by NHS medics Dr Anas Nader and Dr Jing Ouyang, the startup aims to transform healthcare staffing. It provides tech-powered solutions and allows NHS teams to manage their permanent and temporary workforce through fully-integrated platform. Patchwork makes flexibility for clinicians compatible with safely staffed wards by giving rota managers the tools and access to data they need for effective workforce planning. This represents a huge step-change for healthcare, where rigid rostering has long been a hallmark of staffing.
The platform has already partnered with over 100 healthcare sites across the U.K. The company will use this investment to drive the development of new products and features for its healthcare clients, support more organisations across the U.K., expand into international markets, and bring its services to new areas of health and a wider range of sectors.
Co-founder and CEO Dr Anas Nader said: “NHS staff are resilient, resourceful and deeply committed to their work. But they’re not superheroes. As the world of work shifts around them, NHS staff are locked into rigid schedules whilst demand escalates. This is pushing clinicians out of healthcare careers as they’re too exhausted to continue. And that heaps further pressure on those who remain. It’s a vicious cycle we can ill-afford. Too many clinicians have, like myself and my co-founder, found themselves trapped in a schedule that can grind them down and push them out of a career they love.
Martin le Huray, partner at Perwyn added: “The traditional way of staffing our NHS is outdated and is contributing to the pressures our health service is facing. Their track record of working closely with the NHS to affect change is very impressive and we are delighted to have led this round. We believe that Patchwork is well on its way to playing a pivotal role in creating a stronger, more sustainable healthcare system for future generations.”