Florence is a tech business trying to change the way that healthcare professionals book temporary work. Behind the technology is a team of committed and dedicated individuals trying to make it fairer for medical professionals and healthcare organisations to interact. Meet The Team is a series of posts exploring the people behind the technology:
What's your name and what do you do at Florence?
C: My name is Charles and I am the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Florence.
What were you doing before you joined Florence?
C: Before Florence, I was working as a doctor in South London mainly in the fields of Emergency Medicine and Surgery.
What made you start Florence?
C: I decided to start Florence following some of my own experiences working as a locum doctor in the NHS. I found it frustrating how I had no choice over the work I could pick and had to do whatever I was given by my agency. I also hated the way I was treated when I arrived for a new shift. It's always difficult to join a new team especially when you're given poor handovers and treated like a mercenary.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
C: I absolutely love travelling and am forever planning my next adventure. Unfortunately, there's not much time for holidays since I started Florence, so I entertain myself with more grounded activities. I love spending time in the garden and have grown some pretty serious courgettes this year. I play the piano and guitar to a certain level and, if I'm alone, will start wailing an accompaniment! Unfortunately when I do that my neighbour knocks on my door and tells me to stop. Their loss!
What was your favourite place to visit and why?
C: A couple of years ago, I drove from Egypt to South Africa in an old Land Rover Defender. On the way, we stopped in on some friends who lived in a small town in the Western edge of Uganda. We were staying in the Rwenzori Mountains which are unbelievably beautiful and full of wildlife. Waking up to see elephants quietly padding past our camp sight was quite an experience!
What are your biggest dislikes?
C: Pineapple on pizza and the person that stole my bike!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
C: The first thing I ever wanted to be was a vet that specialised in cuddly toy animals. When I realised that wasn't a real job I switched to wanting to be a cowboy. I'd still quite like to be a cowboy!
What was your first job?
C: I spent two months, one school summer holiday, washing dishes in a local pub. If I was a good boy they let me chop the onions. Your mind is very good at blocking out negative experiences but I seem to remember that I loved it.
What's your favourite product and why?
C: I think AirBnB is a fantastic product and it will always be my first port of call when I go away. It was such a brave thing to build but it's created a style of travel that really appeals to me – getting a fantastic, personalised experience that is very good value. I can spend hours on their website flicking through apartments in foreign countries and getting excited about what the world has to offer. Although I've never owned one, I have always loved Martin Acoustic Guitars. I find it difficult to walk past a shop that sells them without popping in to have a play. One day I'll get one on a credit card and skip town to avoid the bill. I think it's something I'll do when I'm in my cowboy phase.