Florence Tackles the social care staffing crisis

Florence, the recruitment marketplace where care and nursing homes can find qualified staff to fill temporary shifts, today announces it has expanded – adding carers to the pool of qualified healthcare professionals working through its innovative platform.

By cutting out the costly fees associated with traditional recruitment agencies, Florence has been successful in helping care home providers to recruit nurses since its 2017 launch. With a focus on quality and continuity of care the platform now also features a pool of carers, available to work shifts in London as part of a pilot scheme in the area. There are plans to expand countrywide with its carers service within the next 12-months.

Commenting on the introduction of carers to the platform, Charles Armitage, Co-founder and Managing Director at Florence said: “We’re a nation at crisis point in terms of the future of our social care system and we can no longer hide from the endemic problems around staffing and recruiting in the social care sector. With an ageing population on the rise, we need to find real solutions to address the ever-widening workforce gap. The addition of carers to the Florence marketplace signifies our commitment to being part of that solution - offering healthcare professionals greater access to high-paying shifts across the UK, not to mention saving care and nursing homes money while boosting the quality and continuity of care throughout the sector.”

Florence puts a pool of qualified nurses, and now carers at the fingertips of care and nursing home managers. The manager has the option to add a nurse or carer to a list of ‘favourites’, allowing them to easily select individuals for future shifts which help to achieve continuity of care. The platform also includes a reviews section, where managers can leave feedback on the nurse or carer – a feature which has proven to foster a greater sense of accountability.

From a nurse or carers’ perspective, Florence provides easy access to and true transparency over the temporary shifts on offer in their local area. Similar to the experience of the care home provider, a nurse or carer can read feedback about the home setting so they can decide if they feel it is a good fit. Florence also encourages homes using the platform to pay carers the national living wage.

With Florence now being used by many care home operators, extending the marketplace to host carers was a natural next step. The platform has the potential to act as a one-stop shop for care providers to recruit both nurses and carers in one integrated solution. In some cases, eliminating the need for them to use recruitment agencies at all, thus saving on the fees which drain resources from the social care system.

The onboarding process consists of two references from either a manager, nurse, midwife or agency representative, as well as a background check, DBS, and the full spectrum of mandatory training certificates. The carer is also expected to have at least 1 years’ work history as a carer and to provide proof of indemnity insurance. On average, the compliance process for Florence takes around 20 days, versus three months through a traditional recruitment agency. Care and nursing homes, and carers, in the London area, are now invited to join the pilot.

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