Patchwork Health, a healthcare workforce platform built by NHS doctors, has raised a £20 million Series B round to accelerate its work tackling the NHS staffing crisis. 

The 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, Patchwork partners with over 100 healthcare sites across the UK.

Research has shown that 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 staffing crunch is occurring against the backdrop of record waiting lists, with 6.6m people waiting to start treatment.

Patchwork works to reverse these trends. It provides tech-powered solutions that address staffing challenges and allow NHS teams to manage their permanent and temporary workforce through one fully-integrated platform.

This includes powering tech-enabled ‘staff banks’ for temporary workers – the vital clinicians who step in when a shift can’t be filled by a permanent member of staff. The Patchwork model aims to radically reduces reliance on the expensive locum agency ‘middle man’ and instead gives hospitals the power to increase engagement with existing temporary staff, access new networks of clinicians directly, and broadcast all their shifts through an app. 

It claims that this saves hospitals money and speeds up how quickly vacant shifts are filled. Trusts using the Patchwork system can see increases of up to 48% in the number of temporary shifts for doctors getting filled.

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Patchwork also helps NHS Trusts and Health Boards team up with others in their region to create ‘collaborative staff banks’; making it possible for them to pool their networks of temporary staff and allow clinicians to safely move between hospitals easily and work where they are needed most. Patchwork is behind the largest collaborative staffing bank in the UK, having brought 24 organisations in the North West together to help ease staffing pressures in the region.

For permanent healthcare staff, the Patchwork platform offers rostering software and solutions which transform how they work. The technology enables staff to have their personal needs and preferences factored into their rota, promoting better work-life balance and stemming the flow of staff resigning due to burnout. 

“NHS staff are resilient, resourceful and deeply committed to their work. But they’re not superheroes,” said CEO Dr Nader. 

“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 which can grind you down and push you out of a career you love.

“NHS staffing isn’t working for NHS staff; but it can be fixed with the right tools. At Patchwork, we work closely with NHS organisations to design technology-powered solutions that allow all staff to have their needs, preferences, and wellbeing put front and centre of workforce strategies. 

“Our solution gives the NHS the power to make this sustainable staffing a reality, whilst improving staffing levels and safeguarding the quality of patient care. We’re so grateful to Perwyn and all the investors involved in this round for enabling us to scale up this mission and help even more healthcare professionals work in a sustainable way.”

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