iSOFT Group Plc, the UK healthcare IT firm, has acquired Revive Group Ltd, a leading supplier of e-booking solutions to the NHS. The move sees iSOFT move into a new application area central to the national NHS IT programme.

The national programme includes a commitment to enable GPs to book hospital appointments for patients on-line, avoiding the lengthy delays associated with paper correspondence and providing patients with greater choice.

The purchase of Revive helps iSOFT strategically position itself to benefit from the national e-booking initiative. In January 2003, the Government is scheduled to announce the selection of an e-booking Prime Service Provider (PSP).

Revive’s specialist software allows GPs, using a web-browser, to find the earliest and best-suited hospital appointments, and allows hospital consultants to define protocols to ensure that patients are seen by the most appropriate doctor for their care.

Steve Graham, iSOFT’s chief operating officer commented. “As a single organisation, iSOFT and Revive will help to erode the barriers between Primary and Secondary care, allowing vital patient information to be shared, and helping to realise the Government’s vision of ‘joined-up care’.”

iSOFT says that Revive’s e-booking software is currently the selected e-booking solution for 37 NHS Trusts, representing around 80% of Trusts that have an electronic direct-booking programme. It is implemented and available throughout most of London, Dorset, the Midlands, the North West, and the North East. Over 1,000 GP practices are said to be set to use the system.

In October iSOFT and Revive, working together, were selected in a major Electronic Patient Record (EPR) procurement at Mid-Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The acquisition of Revive was completed for an initial consideration of £1m to be settled partly in cash and partly in new iSOFT shares. A further consideration of up to £3.05m will be payable based upon trading performance over the first three years of ownership.