Healthcare Locums suspends stock after accounting issues

Marion Dakers
MEDICAL staffing firm Healthcare Locums yesterday suspended its AIM-listed stock and two of its top staff while it investigates accounting irregularities.

Healthcare Locums, which was set up by serial entrepreneur Kate Bleasdale in 2004, has begun an investigation into “serious accounting irregularities” that mean its profits will be far below market expectations of £25m this year.

Bleasdale, who is executive vice chairman, and chief financial officer Diane Jarvis will be suspended pending the outcome of the probe.

It is understood that the police are not involved in the investigation.

Healthcare Locums has lost 25 per cent of its share value since it blamed public spending cuts for poor results in September.

However, the firm continued to make acquisitions including the £77.8m purchase of an Australian healthcare firm, which was funded by a National Australia Bank loan.

The firm appointed Jefferies International to join Fairfax IS as joint corporate broker in September.

The company restated its 2009 results last March to reflect a new accounting policy.