Hello and happy holidays to you, our care home managers.

It’s December 2019, and we’ve just celebrated our 3rd birthday here at Florence.

As a father of three young children myself, I realise Florence is still a young company. While we have achieved a lot so far, such as one million hours worked by nurses and carers, and over £6m of savings to care homes to date, we know we still have much to do.

As we fast approach Florence’s third festive period, I wanted to say thank you, and also to give you some insight into what we’re thinking for 2020.  

Most importantly, I’d like to ask for your feedback on how to make Florence a better experience.

We know we don't get everything right all the time, and want to learn. We are driven by a mission to help improve the care sector on a long term basis.

New for care homes in 2019

The past three years have flown by.

We’ve gone from covering a few nursing shift gaps in West London, to developing a national operation serving hundreds of care homes across England and Wales. We work with large and small providers alike.

Here are three high-level new initiatives we've implemented to help care homes in 2019...

1. Carers on Florence 

This year we started a new chapter with the launch of carers on Florence. Carer shifts are now available to book in and around London, and we have plans to expand in 2020.

If you’re using Florence today, we can make carers available to you - so do let us know if you require this shift type.

2. Florence in Scotland

I’m also excited to announce we’ve launched Florence in Scotland, currently offering carer shifts in and around Glasgow. We’ll be able to offer nurse shifts once our Care Inspectorate approval is obtained in the coming months.

3. New team members

At Florence, we have a passionate and committed team, and this year a number of great people have joined us. In a key move for incident management, our Chief Nurse Fiona Millington arrived in June to strengthen clinical governance and support users.

We’ll continue to add good people in 2020.

New for care homes in 2020

Looking forward to 2020, we have five headline items in consideration. Please let us know your thoughts on the below.

1. Bank staff

We recognise that, in a perfect world, you wouldn’t want to use external staff. As such, we are planning to look at a simple add-on to Florence, giving you the ability to use the platform to fill gaps with your own staff. Ideally, this will allow you to post shifts to your staff first, before opening to applications from the wider Florence community.

2. IR35 management

From April 2020, legislation is changing on the use of self-employed professionals. We have taken advice from companies like Deloitte, and are well placed to support our care homes on whatever path you choose. We are planning on running IR35 webinars in the new year, and would love to hear your thoughts or any questions you have about this topic.

3. Our Florence community 

We have hundreds of care homes using Florence, and would like to do more to support you. We are hoping to be able to support events that benefit you. We would love to hear from you about this if you’re interested.

4. Training and revalidation

We have built learning portal Florence Academy to support Florence nurses and carers, used by over 1,000 workers. We will be looking to extend Florence Academy courses to our clients in 2020, as well as developing tools to help with feedback, appraisals and staff revalidation.

5. Insights for care homes

Lastly, we gather many insights about how care homes use Florence. We’ll be looking in to how to share these to help you understand what you do vs. other homes like you. All data will be anonymous - we do this because we truly believe in fairness and transparency.

Thank you

We are all very grateful for your support to date, and look forward to working with you in the coming years.

I would be happy to receive any thoughts or suggestions you have for improving Florence, or come and visit you to chat in person.

Equally, if you find yourself in London, then do come and see us in our office near the City.

Please email me on [email protected] to reach out, whether you have feedback to discuss, or would like to set up a meeting.

I hope you have a peaceful and restful festive period.

Dan Blake, COO and Co-Founder