Patchwork Health, a healthcare staffing solution founded by NHS doctors, has welcomed technology entrepreneur and business leader Michael Tobin OBE to the company as chairman.

Tobin is the entrepreneur behind an array of global businesses: he masterminded the merger between data centre companies Redbus and Telecity, making Telecity worth over £2bn after a re-listing and sale in 2015. 

Among many subsequent success stories, he has driven exit strategies for cloud companies Datapipe and Basefarm, transformed Pacnet from a subsidiary cable operator to a data centre operator – subsequently sold to Telstra for $800m – and converted Itconic into a leading Iberian data centre operator prior to its sale to Equinix Inc. 

He currently acts as chairman for a number of technology companies around the world, including Audioboom plc and BigBlu Broadband plc, both listed on the AIM market.   

Tobin’s appointment comes as Patchwork Health, whose end-to-end workforce management solution is making healthcare staffing more sustainable across the UK, prepares to support their 70+ NHS partners through the winter peak in service demand, and as they look ahead to an ambitious period of growth in 2022. 

Tobin, who praised Patchwork’s ‘passionate, intelligent’ leadership team, will bring a vast wealth of expertise built over 30 years as a successful entrepreneur and business leader in the telecoms and technology sectors. He was recognised for his contribution to the UK tech sector in 2014, when he was awarded an OBE for Services to the Digital Economy. 

What difference can a chairperson make to a business?

Tobin’s arrival coincides with a hugely exciting period of growth for Patchwork, which to date has raised £8.6m in investment and recently launched an innovative new rostering solution. It has also launched the largest shared healthcare staff bank in the UK, retaining £3.4 million for the NHS in staffing costs during its first year. 

Patchwork’s technology and services are currently enabling over 2 million hours of NHS shifts to be sustainably staffed every year and have saved the NHS an estimated £39 million to date in temporary staffing fees.

“The events of the past two years have made it clear just how important the NHS workforce is to every one of us,” said Tobin. 

“By proactively building a solution to the healthcare workforce crisis, Patchwork’s passionate, intelligent team is addressing a vital need in this key industry. 

“Their ability to create value for shareholders is equally matched by the value they are able to provide for the millions of staff, patients and employers who use health and care services every day – and this makes me hugely excited to be joining them and bringing my experience to the board. 

“While businesses vary greatly, business itself remains the same; it’s all about leadership, in every aspect and at every level. I have great respect for the talented team at Patchwork; I am looking forward to working with them to promote and support the next steps in Patchwork’s exciting and innovative journey.”

Dr Anas Nader, co-founder and CEO of Patchwork Health, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Michael on board as chairman. There’s no doubt how invaluable his vast experience and sector knowledge will prove to be and we’re honoured to be working alongside him throughout the next stages of Patchwork’s development and growth. 

“Michael’s demonstrable talent for leadership and business, as well as his alignment with the values and goals of the business, is the perfect addition to our board at an incredibly exciting time. 

“With Michael’s expertise, we plan to further progress our plans to revolutionise healthcare workforce management and deliver best outcomes for NHS organisations, clinicians, and their patients.”