A company providing training to hundreds of NHS managers has suddenly ceased trading.
The Improvement Foundation, which until recently delivered university accredited courses for NHS organisations and other public bodies, has left a recorded phone message for callers to its Manchester office saying it has “ceased trading”.
It is completely out of the blue. It is all very unfortunate and without any details it is difficult to know what is happening
Its website only contains a holding page, which does not mention the closure or provide guidance for anyone it has affected.
There is an email address, but HSJ received no response to its enquiries.
The company is not listed as dissolved on Companies House records. However, its auditors resigned on 21 January and there has been no activity since 8 February, when it filed an alteration to its “memorandum and articles”, or the company’s charter.
A primary care trust manager who had been taking a postgraduate diploma in advanced commissioning told HSJ she received a letter from her university last week saying it would not be running the course as the Improvement Foundation was no longer trading.
She said: “It is completely out of the blue. It is all very unfortunate and without any details it is difficult to know what is happening.”
Four people at the PCT were taking the diploma at a cost of £4,500 each, but only two modules out of six have been provided, she said. The PCT is trying to recoup the costs.
She said more than 100 people from around the country were on the same course.
Company reports reveal five people were employed there as of 2 February. The chief executive is named as Ruth Kennedy, who worked with three directors - Jacqueline Comber, Meera Kulkarni and Melanie Lawless.
Sir John Oldham, former head of the Improvement Foundation, told HSJ he had had no connection with the company since he left two and a half years ago in July 2007 and it would be “inappropriate… to comment on the current situation”.
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