New app helps care homes recruit temporary nurses
‘Florence’, an app which enables care and nursing homes to hand-pick temporary nurses without having to use a traditional recruitment agency has been launched.
Created by Charles Armitage, a 28-year-old doctor from London, the app enables care home managers to work directly with nurses and to clearly see their training, accreditation and ratings from previous jobs before booking them for shifts. More than 1,000 registered general nurses have already signed up with Florence which enables them to build a professional reputation and so be selected by care and nursing homes for their expertise, not just their availability.
The app, which care managers can access online via a computer or mobile, is described as one of a number of ‘disruptive’ technology solutions for the care sector.
“We like Florence because it’s easy to use and it’s transparent,” said Patricia Goan, chief executive of Glebe Court nursing home in Bromley, Kent, who has been using Florence since March.
“You can see the full profile of who you’re getting for each shift, and because it includes their photograph you recognise them when they arrive – managers find that reassuring. We have saved around 20% on the cost of using agencies to fill registered general nurse shifts.
The app’s developer Charles Armitage said another of the nursing homes which uses Florence had told him it had “revolutionised” how it recruits temporary nurses.
“The home’s manager commented on the quality of nurses they have access to via Florence,” said Charles.
“In his feedback, he said that because they are self-employed and marketing themselves, the nurses’ level of engagement is much greater. Moreover, because this nursing home no longer has to use a traditional recruitment agency it is saving 16% on agency fees for nursing shifts. For them, this equates to more than £3,500 a month.”
Homes can use Florence to create a profile, post available shifts and then select from a database of pre-vetted RGNs. Managers can see each nurse’s training, compliance documentation and feedback from previous employers.
“Florence puts managers in direct contact with each nurse available for the shift,” said Charles. “It means homes get a better sense of who they’re employing and removes any doubt about a nurse’s abilities.”
Charles said he had the idea for Florence when he was working as a doctor. He experienced first-hand the difficulties of being booked for casual shifts. “I found it frustrating that there was no contact between me and the place I was going to be working,” he said.
“We didn’t know anything about each other and that made for a less than satisfying experience on both sides. I knew there had to be a better way.”
Florence is currently serving the London area, with plans to launch it nationwide later this year.