New CFO recruited at troubled Healthcare Locums

by Rachael Singh

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10 May 2011

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Private equity investors increasingly attracted to healthcare providers

TROUBLED MEDICAL RECRUITMENT BUSINESS Healthcare Locums has recruited a new CFO.

Colin Whipp takes the reins after former CFO Diane Jervis resigned following a suspension. Jervis and vice-chairman Kate Bleasdale were suspended earlier this year, after the company uncovered accounting irregularities.

Whipp will also become chief restructuring officer. He was previously called to Leaseway Vehicle Rental by its lenders Lloyds Banking in August 2010, following the discovery of falsified accounts. Subsequently the business entered administration.

Stephen Burke also joins Healthcare Locums as CEO. He is currently non-exec and chairman of the remuneration committee at specialist recruiters Matchtech. He has also held several senior roles at Michael Page.

Andrew McRae will continue as MD of Healthcare Australia which was acquired by Healthcare Locums in December last year. McRae, a chartered accountant, was instrumental in overseeing the integration of the businesses.

Jarvis and vice-chairman Kate Bleasdale were suspended from Healthcare Locums in January this year while an investigation on accounting errors, including the refusal by auditors to certify accounts on a subsidiary, was conducted.

The medical retailer bought Redwood Health for an estimated £6.7m from vice-chairman Bleasdale's husband John Cariss. This was despite its auditors Haines Watts refusing to sign off on the accounts.

Haines Watts cited a failure by Redwood to produce proper documentation relating to four months in 2009. The subsidiary lacked information regarding payroll and sales figures during this period. The auditors also claimed Redwood failed to account for £351,000, debited from its profit and loss account.

Haines Watts said problems with the accounts meant it was "unable to form an opinion as to whether the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the company's affairs".

For more company information visit the Share Price Centre.

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