Florence, one of the UK’s fastest-growing healthcare technology companies, has today announced its expansion into the Canadian market.
After experiencing standout growth year on year in the UK since 2017 and a $35 million Series B funding round in 2022, the healthcare technology company plans to continue its mission to solve the global healthcare staffing crisis by launching in Canada. The announcement follows on from the successful expansion in France last year.
The Florence app empowers nurses and other healthcare professionals to find flexible, fair, and transparent work options, and enables long-term care homes, hospitals, and other organisations to sustainably fill open shifts in their schedule with highly skilled and vetted healthcare workers.
The growing demand for care in Canada continues to outpace the supply of health workers, placing significant pressures on the sustainability of the health system. Nurses are leaving the profession in record numbers, due to worsening working conditions, heavy workloads, and lack of meaningful job supports, with the COVID pandemic further accelerating these challenges.
To lead the Canadian business, Florence has appointed Shelly-Ann Rampersad as the Managing Director. She has over a decade of experience in the healthcare sector and was formerly the Vice President of Clinical Operations at Toronto-based technology start-up, Maple. Shelly-Ann spent the past five years building and leading the company’s clinical operations and public sector team, including overseeing the scaling of its provider network and care delivery model to support the unprecedented demand for virtual care during the pandemic. Today, Maple has Canada’s largest online provider network, including physicians, nurse practitioners, and allied health professionals, serving nearly 4 million Canadians. Prior to Maple, Shelly-Ann worked as a healthcare strategy consultant with KPMG, focused on health system transformation. Notably, in that time, Shelly-Ann supported The Government of The Bahamas with the design and launch of its landmark National Health Insurance program, which provides primary healthcare services to over 390,000 Bahamians.
Shelly-Ann Rampersad, Canadian Managing Director, said: “Health human resourcing is one of the largest issues facing the Canadian healthcare system today. I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Florence to tackle this challenge, and I look forward to working alongside nurses, health workers, and healthcare organisations to create a more sustainable path forward.”
Florence now serves more than a quarter of social care in the UK and operates across 99% of the UK. In 2022, Florence announced a Series B funding round totalling $35 million (£28.5 million) to invest in product expansion in the UK and international markets. Florence already works with over 100,000 e-learners, 90,000 nurses and healthcare workers, and over 2000 organisations.
The tech platform also provides care workers and organisations with e-learning tools, via the Florence Academy, to make entry into the workforce as well as workforce management easier. The company recently launched a new Pathway to Care programme, a free course designed to help school leavers (15-19 yr olds) learn key skills and build experience ahead of starting a Care Certificate or a nursing degree.
Dr. Charles Armitage; former NHS doctor, CEO and founder of Florence, added: “We’re so excited to bring Florence to Canada under Shelly-Ann’s leadership. Canada is in the middle of a significant workforce crisis and we’re looking forward to supporting providers to help them use technology to build a flexible, efficient and high quality workforce.”