A technology-driven platform launched to tackle the "growing crisis" of nurse recruitment in the UK has attracted £1.2 million to expand its marketplace across the UK.

London-based Florence is an online marketplace which allows self-employed nurses to find "high-paying shifts" across the UK and helps care home managers ease staffing pressures.

The start-up claims its platform allows nurses to earn a "significantly" higher hourly rate.

It also features a rating system that drives up accountability, giving nurses the chance to raise concerns about potentially unsafe working environments.

"Like almost everyone in the country, I have first-hand experience of a loved-one living in a care home," said managing director Dr Charles Armitage, who co-founded the business in 2016.

"It's so important to know that there are transparent mechanisms for managers and nurses to provide feedback, both positive and negative.

"I wouldn't want my family member living in an environment where that didn't exist."

The seed funding round was led by New York-based venture investor Waverly Capital and an existing backer.

Further funding was provided by Rianta Capital, the private family office of Tom Singh, Founder of New Look. 

Richard Villiers, CEO of Waverly Group, added: "We have got to know the Florence team well over the past twelve months and have been impressed by their ability to execute in this complex marketplace.

"The platform they have built is delivering value to all of the stakeholders in the industry (the care home operators, nurses and patients) and we are excited to support their roll-out across the country."

Florence currently facilitates more than 5,000 hours of nursing work per week across the South East and North West of England.

With this investment, the start-up plans to expand the marketplace across all of England and Wales.