Locum’s Nest, a mobile first platform founded by doctors which is revolutionising the way staffing shortages are addressed in the NHS, has completed a £1.1m funding round led by Albion Capital, (‘Albion’), one of the UK’s leading independent investment managers and IDO Investments, an innovation firm based in Oman (‘IDO’). The investment will be used to expand Locum’s Nest nationally and add additional functionality to the service.
Locum’s Nest revolutionises the way locum doctors are managed by NHS trusts. The cost of agency locum doctors is one of the most controversial and draining holes in the NHS budget with expensive locum agencies reaping the rewards from a cash and staff-strapped NHS. The platform, founded by two NHS doctors, is revolutionising the way shifts are filled with the potential of saving the NHS millions.
Developed by Dr Ahmed Shahrabani and Dr Nicholas Andreou, Locum’s Nest is already saving two NHS Trusts over £400,000 this year by helping them fill vacant shifts with participating NHS doctors. The platform matches available doctors with hospital shifts to fill rota gaps at a fraction of the price of locum agencies. It is designed to maximise the utilisation of a hospital’s existing workforce by efficiently placing doctors in vacant shifts. The platform operates a “pay-as-you-go” structure, which allows trusts to break free from punitive locum agency contracts.
Locum’s Nest has pioneered the first digital collaborative staff bank in NHS history, between Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. These trusts can now draw on more than 1,000 NHS clinicians to ensure safe staffing levels. Their shared ecosystem is set to grow not only in size but also shared benefit.
Locum’s Nest has attracted the talents of international healthcare technology heavyweights specialising in workforce management software, including Allen Swann (founding member of Oracle UK) as Chairman, Ian Bowles (CEO Tribal Group PLC and former CEO Allocate Software) as a non-executive director and Jonathon Carr-Brown (former MD of NHS Choices) in an advisory capacity.
Will Fraser-Allen, Deputy Managing Partner at Albion Capital, said: “Locum’s Nest is disrupting the traditional locum market, delivering cost saving solutions and allowing NHS trusts to manage their own staff more flexibly. We are excited about the contribution Locum’s Nest can make to the future of the healthcare service through improved patient care and combatting the funding challenges facing the NHS. The platform has the potential to grow rapidly and to be part of the digital revolution which is transforming healthcare.”
Dr Andrew Elder, Partner and Head of Healthcare at Albion Capital, said: “This is our seventh digital health investment reflecting our commitment to supporting businesses which disrupt and positively transform the provision of healthcare for better patient outcomes. The Locum’s Nest platform will continue to evolve and has exciting potential to successfully address staffing issues on a much wider level, improving the quality and continuity of care across the country.”
Dr Nicholas Andreou, co-founder of Locum’s Nest, said: “The idea was born out of our mutual frustration with the system for recruiting locum doctors. We’ve both done shifts as locum doctors and we had a feeling that the hospital and the doctors would get a better service and more satisfaction if they organised the shifts themselves.”
Dr Ahmed Shahrabani, co-founder of Locum’s Nest, added: “Doctors can’t be forced to work more shifts than they already do but through a combination of transparency, convenience and fun, Locum’s Nest has managed to make a very bureaucratic process much easier. We are thrilled to be working with Albion and IDO, with their industry expertise we are confident that Locum’s Nest can make a positive impact to the NHS at a national level.”
Locum’s Nest marks Albion’s seventeenth investment in the healthcare sector in the last five years. Other investments managed by Albion in the healthcare sector include: Achilles Therapeutics, Freeline Therapeutics, Mirada Medical, My Meds & Me, Oviva, Orchard Therapeutics, Oxford Immunotec and Proveca.
IDO Investments is a growth equity investment firm that invests and develops innovative and scalable companies globally. IDO Investments deploys capital into companies which have innovative products and focuses on Healthcare/Life Sciences, Energy, Food and Agriculture technology as well as other related technologies.