Booty appointed chief executive at Nestor

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The Independent Online

Nestor Healthcare, the out-of-hours doctors and agency nurses business, is to appoint Stephen Booty, the head of its personnel division, as chief executive. Mr Booty replaces Justin Jewitt, who resigned after a devastating profit warning earlier this month.

Nestor Healthcare, the out-of-hours doctors and agency nurses business, is to appoint Stephen Booty, the head of its personnel division, as chief executive. Mr Booty replaces Justin Jewitt, who resigned after a devastating profit warning earlier this month.

Mr Booty's promotion will be announced at the company's annual shareholder meeting today at one of its new call centres in Sheffield, when Nestor promises to update the market on plans to cut costs and alter the management structure of the business.

Mr Jewitt was forced out after a failed bet that changes to the organisation of general practitioners' out-of-hours duties would bring substantial new business to the private sector. In fact, local health trusts are organising cover in-house, reducing Nestor's existing business and leaving it with over-capacity at two giant new call centres that cost it about £25m.

Mr Booty runs Nestor's personnel division, which supplies agency nurses to the National Health Service. He joined the company in 2002 after spells at Chep International, the pallets business owned by Brambles Industries, and the household products group Kimberly-Clark.

Nestor shares are currently trading at 125p, way down from their 12-month high of 345p. The company raised £37m at 475p-a-share in 2001 to fund the £110m purchase of Healthcall, the business which took it into GP out-of-hours.

Nestor is thought unlikely to put a figure today on the value of any savings from a restructuring, or the one-off costs of the exercise, and will instead promise a further update before results in August.

Seb Jantet, a healthcare analyst at Investec Securities, said: "It is two weeks since the profit warning, and they knew about the warning a week before they issued it, so they really ought to be able to give us guidance by now on what they think they can get the cost base down to."

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