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Staff on demand

How Lantum plans to save the NHS £1 billion

20 April 2018 , 15:34

Lantum wanted to help with big cost savings across the NHS and needed funding and support to make it happen.

Lantum is an end-to-end staffing platform that connects doctors and nurses to healthcare organisations in order to fill shifts efficiently. Its founder and CEO Melissa Morris started the venture to address the NHS staffing problem. She wanted to save the NHS money while making life easier for freelance doctors, nurses and organisations across the healthcare system.

Our Innovation Finance loan* allowed the business to expand, while the High Growth & Entrepreneurs team offered invaluable support and advice that helped Lantum make big changes across the industry.

Today Lantum has 1,000 clinics and 4,000 doctors and nurses using its platform each month. It has saved £4 million for the NHS so far and has plans to save much more. Its system impressed the NHS so much that it’s now part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), an initiative that promotes high-quality startups across the health service.

Read our Q&A with founder Melissa below.

Why did you set up Lantum?

I spent 10 years working in and for the NHS, helping to solve problems. I started as a management consultant and then worked for the NHS helping with strategy and designing future systems. This led me to my next step – trying to solve the NHS staffing problem.

There’s a huge amount of money being spent on getting shifts filled in hospitals, GP practices and urgent care centres. There are tens of thousands of people employed to do manual tasks and there’s a lot of margin that’s taken by recruitment agencies. Rather than employing people or recruitment agencies to fill those slots, I wanted an intelligent platform that does it for you.

How has your idea grown?

We started with 1 doctor and 1 clinic using our platform. We now have 1,000 clinics and 4,000 doctors and nurses using it every month. We have 16 developers and a team of account managers and customer support – everything is done in-house. I’m proud of the growth and how far we’ve come.

What changes have you made to the industry?

Everything is completely automated so we’re saving a huge amount of time and money. We make life extremely easy for both clinicians (doctors and nurses) and healthcare organisations (hospitals, GP practices and urgent care centres). For clinicians, all of their invoices and timesheets are automated and payment is guaranteed. For healthcare organisations, the pain is taken away because we automate as much as possible. We help to host rotas online and match the right doctors and nurses with the right shifts and also automate invoicing and payments.

We recently saved a chain of clinics £400,000 a year with our platform instead of using a recruitment agency they’d been using for years. They were obviously very pleased about that.

How does Lantum work?

The whole platform is digital. You can access it through an app on your phone or online. You have to be a clinician or healthcare organisation to use it and we vet all of our clinicians to ensure they’re great quality. For clinicians, it’s a completely free service. They sign up, create a profile and use it at no cost at all. Healthcare organisations pay a monthly subscription fee.

We’ve invested a lot of time and energy making this software really easy to use. Our customers have the biggest influence over what happens. We include them in decisions about how the platform should evolve and we always ask what they need.

When did we become part of your journey?

We’ve always banked with Barclays. Over time they saw our growth and reached out to us. We soon developed a relationship with the Barclays High Growth & Entrepreneurs team and spoke to them about how they could help our growth. They’ve been extremely valuable to us in our journey and have helped to completely change how the business operates.

Barclays brought two big changes to our business. The first was that they supported us in securing an Innovation Finance loan, which enabled us to acquire a competitor. This meant we were able to expand in the UK and other cities. The second big change was an invoice discounting facility that allowed us to pay doctors the next day – which they obviously loved.

I feel like Barclays are totally aligned with what we’re trying to do. They have demonstrated that by supporting us so much in such a short space of time.

How has our Relationship Manager helped your business?

In the beginning, we were tiny and didn’t need much support – but as we grew, we started talking to our Relationship Manager and found that we had lots of needs that Barclays could help with. Our Relationship Manager has been extremely supportive. I meet with her regularly and we explore different ways Barclays can assist us. She’s met most of the people on our Board and really understands us. It’s great having a Relationship Manager because they get to know you and the business deeply. They can think ahead – sometimes even before you’ve thought about it.

What are your plans for the future?

Our vision is to radically transform how the NHS operates. I feel like we’re making a huge impact – we’ve saved £4 million so far, but there’s a lot more to do. My dream is to save £1 billion for the NHS. It’s possible as £3.5 billion is spent just on agencies. I’m thinking big – and I think we can get there.

*This Innovation Finance loan is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.

Barclays is proud to partner with the European Commission and the European Investment Fund.

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