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Tim Whiston, chief executive of Isoft, the troubled healthcare software provider, said on Wednesday that he was resigning with immediate effect. The announcement follows a series of problems at the company including a restatement of its financial accounts and delays to an NHS IT project.

“I have become increasingly concerned that my continued role with the company may represent a source of negative speculation and comment, being an unhelpful distraction to those within it,” Mr Whiston said regarding his decision.

Shares in the company, which have fallen by about 86 per cent this year, rose by 2 per cent to 56½p by mid-morning in London on the news.

John Weston, chairman, will assume the position until the company appoints a replacement. Mr Weston, who is also chairman of Spirent and former chief executive of BAE Systems, joined Isoft as non-executive chairman last October, replacing Patrick Cryne, co-founder of the company.

“I believe that the business, despite the current difficulties, is a creative and innovative company…We have a clear set of challenges ahead but with the necessary determination we will get through them,” said Mr Weston on Wednesday.

Shares in Isoft dived 39 per cent after the group shook the market last week with a third revision to its full-year profit forecasts in five months because of a change in accounting policy.

The group said the change to its accounting policies meant that pre-tax profits for the year to April 30 would be in the range of £3m-£7m, down from the £17m-£22m range offered in at the end of April.

Last week’s news was the latest in a series of troubles for the company, which in January issued a issued a severe profit warning because of delays to its NHS work and in April another unlinked to its health service contracts.

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