A company in Belfast is aiming to cut the NHS agency bill with a new piece of software, initially aimed at helping pharmacies and pharmacists to advertise and fulfil both planned and emergency cover.
Locate a Locum was born as a ‘bedroom business’ by pharmacist and CEO Jonathon Clarke, and is on course to secure its second round of funding, a further £300,000. The company’s valuation, within a year of going to market, now exceeds £1.5m.
With the help of co-founder and developer Michael Budden, the Locate a Locum platform has been designed to connect pharmacies with pharmacists in a matter of seconds. Through the assistance of Northern Ireland’s prestigious Entrepreneurial Spark programme, this once ‘bedroom business’ has become a globally scalable solution for healthcare providers across the world, within 12 months.
The capability to save the NHS, retail and community pharmacists time, and more importantly money, is staggering. The NHS currently spends £4bn per year on agency fees. Locate a Locum can save the NHS an average of £105 per day for each temporary member of staff.
Jonathon Clarke gave an insight into the inspiration for the software. ‘The idea for Locate a Locum was born initially out of a desire to help secure locum work for myself. I was sick of driving around the country, handing out business cards or spending my mornings on the phone. As the concept grew, and through my research, I realised the waste that was happening in our National Health Service with regards to agency fees. I’d heard of agencies charging up to 50% of daily fees to fill locum shifts, it’s scandalous. I knew that something had to be done about that and I saw my idea as a solution that could help to save tens of millions of pounds to the public purse every year.’
In just a matter of months, Locate a Locum has onboarded thousands of pharmacist across the UK, and services over 8,000 pharmacies, including big players such as Boots, Well and Rowlands. Andy Lawson, Pharmacist Development Manager for Boots spoke highly of the team and the technology that they’ve developed. “We’ve received really good support from the team at Locate a Locum, their staff have been very helpful and the locums that we’ve hired through the platform have all received very good feedback from our teams. The new website is easy to use and they have taken on any suggestions that we’ve had on board.”
CXO and developer, Michael Budden, speaks highly of their creation. ‘The beauty of the platform isn’t just that it’s pleasing on the eye, but it allows pharmacies to advertise and fill shifts in seconds. Pharmacies don’t need to go to traditional job boards or agencies anymore. They don’t need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on recruitment fees either. We’ve received excellent feedback from pharmacists who receive alerts to their phone relating to available shifts, they can apply for these shifts in just a few clicks. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve built.’
If you’re a pharmacist and want to secure your next locum shift, you can find out more at www.locatealocum.com. If you’re a pharmacy and want to cut down your agency bill while also saving time and resources, get in touch with the team at locate a Locum.
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