Elan Technologies, the UK provider of healthcare information systems, has been acquired by Capula Ltd, a provider of IT solutions to the energy, healthcare, utilities, industrial and public sector markets.

The deal comes at a critical time in NHS IT with the government widely expected to commit significant new investment into computerising the health service.

Capula, which until August was called Instem Ltd, cited the new anticipated new IT programme, together with the attractiveness of Elan’s Oasis Electronic Patient Record product as twin reasons informing the acquisition.

“The acquisition of Elan brings together a premier software product with a proven service delivery capability,” stated Roger Turner, managing director of Capula. "This will ensure that Capula plays a major role in the ‘Delivering 21st Century IT to the NHS’ strategy."

The purchase price was not disclosed by Capula. A spokesperson for Capula told E-Health Insider the deal was "likely to be the only acquisition in health for the time being".

Capula, prior to the acquisition, has a turnover of £25 million and over 300 staff, the majority with specialist project management and implementation skills.

Capula said the acquisition will augment its existing healthcare business – the company had previously marketed its’ own EPR system to the NHS. Elan Technologies will now be branded as Capula-Elan.

Existing Elan clients committed to, or using, the Oasis products — ranging from patient administration systems to resource scheduling and EPR systems — include Fife Hospitals in Scotland, Eastbourne hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Stockport Healthcare and Queen Margaret Hospital Scotland.

Funding for the acquisition was provided by Capula’s private equity shareholder Bridgepoint Capital.