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Richard Upshall joins caretech startup Sona as Head of Product Design

Care sector focused startup Sona has hired Richard Upshall as Head of Product Design to deliver on the company’s ambition to be the most user-friendly employee app of its kind.

Richard joins after ten years at 21-home care operator Colten Care. Most recently he was Business Applications Manager, with responsibility for all information systems. During his time in this role he oversaw the successful implementation of numerous key systems for facilities management, clinical governance, learning and HR, recruitment and shift fulfilment.

He also led on Colten’s Covid tracking and reporting, creating a process for logging and authorising self isolations for staff and all vaccinations and testing for staff and residents.

Richard joins a rapidly growing product team to take overall responsibility for the quality of the user experience for customers, as well as leading on the visual appearance, structure, and layout of the Sona platform.

Sona Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Ben Dixon said: “Our mission is to put powerful productivity tools in the pockets of the care workforce. That’s only possible if the technology we build is both highly tailored to the needs of our users, and incredibly easy to use. As well as his  technical expertise, Richard’s vast experience in both the care sector and in testing, launching and running new platforms for thousands of staff will prove invaluable. On top of that, he’s a great guy so we’re all stoked to have him on the team.”

“It’s become impossible to run a great care operation without great information processes and technology,” Richard added. “As soon as I heard about Sona I could see the huge potential for a truly modern platform to transform the way care organisations approach their people management. Especially when you combine that with the talent, energy and ambition of the whole team – I’m buzzing to be a part of it. We have lots of exciting plans for the product already in the works so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and delivering an exceptional experience for our customers.”

The Sona app is a mobile hub for care staff to view and claim shifts, manage their schedule, request time off and communicate with colleagues and leave feedback. By making these common tasks extremely easy for them to complete autonomously, employees feel more empowered and valued at work. This not only reduces admin time for managers significantly, more efficient shift and holiday allocation and booking helps them save on staff and agency costs too.

Backed by a recent $2.2m investment round, Sona has been developed and deployed in partnership with a range of founder customers across health and social care, and the voluntary sector, including Creative Support and MHI UK (Shout 85258) ahead of a full product launch in the coming weeks.


About Sona: Sona’s mission is to put technology in the hands of frontline staff that transforms how they manage their work and engage with their employer. Designed for the specific needs of the care industry, Sona’s employee app combines powerful productivity tools with a sleek, simple and intuitive user experience. Features include live schedule view, absence management, instant messaging, and Open Shifts, an innovative shift booking platform matching shift vacancies with employees willing to take on more hours. Trailblazing organisations across health and social care and the third sector – such as Creative Support and Mental Health Innovations – are revolutionising the way they manage, engage and retain their staff.