Feeds

iSoft's £82m City sweetener

Public money paid to private firm

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

iSoft Plc, the beleaguered NHS software provider, has been given two large chunks of cash totalling close to £82m over the last two years, the government has admitted.

An initial payment of £58m was made at the end of April 2005 with a further £23.8m paid out in April this year - just days before the company's financial year drew to a close.

The government bail out helped Manchester-based iSoft secure a its position with the City despite its ongoing troubles, according to a report in The Guardian.

Conservative MP Richard Bacon wrote to health secretary Patricia Hewitt on 9 August requesting details of any advance payments made to iSoft by NHS Connecting for Health. In a written response dated 5 September, Hewitt said: "The Department [of Health] agreed to make advance payments in April 2005 and April 2006 against the charges payable by NHS trusts to iSoft."

She goes on to confirm that iSoft had paid back £37.9m by the end of July this year - leaving an outstanding deficit of £43.9m.

"There has been no indication from iSoft that the advance payments made by the Department of Health (DoH) are the subject of the suspected accounting irregularities that the iSoft Board are investigating," Hewitt said.

The "accounting irregularities" she refers to relate to an audit for 2004 and 2005, which the Financial Services Authority had been investigating.

Hewitt also said that NHS Connecting for Health - acting on behalf of the DoH - has full financial audit rights to inspect iSoft's bank account at any time.

In response, Bacon put the question to The Guardian: "What good reason could there possibly be for what looks like another giant free public subsidy to a failing company?"

As one of the biggest IT projects in the world, iSoft will be looking to turn its bad fortune around, but the NHS may yet be the victim of its bad health. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.