System C Healthcare, a UK healthcare software services and implementation consultancy, has acquired clinical system developer Care Records Ltd, from medical equipment manufacturer Huntleigh Healthcare.

Care Records is a developer of clinical IT systems, best known for the Eclipse maternity system and a diabetes management system, both of which have been installed in UK hospitals.

System C will initially pay Huntleigh £0.85m in cash for Care Records, with up to a further £2.6m over the next three years dependent on performance.

Maternity was a key clinical area meant to be fully covered by the core local service provider solutions offered under the NHS IT programme, but instead trusts are now buying solutions from expert vendors. Recent trust procurements have been won either by EuroKing or Care Records.

The acquisition adds to System C’s clinical software portfolio in the areas of maternity and diabetes management. The company announced earlier this month, in its six month results, that it was coming to the end of the development of the next version of its Medway clinical software suite, called Sigma.

Care Records is System C’s second acquisition in the past six months. In July the company bought IQ Systems Services Ltd, a provider of specialist clinical systems to the independent healthcare sector, including Independent Sector Treatment Centres.

In the six months to the end of November System C reported a turnover of £8.4m, with most of these revenues coming from consultancy and implementation services in support of the NHS IT programme.

System C’s chief executive, Ian Denley, commented: “Care Records has developed exciting next-generation systems which integrate seamlessly with our latest Medway development. This acquisition gives Medway users a far broader range of clinical functionality and allows us to fast-track our development programme. We see many new opportunities both within the UK and overseas as a result of this acquisition.”

Within the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), System C personnel have been involved in 75% of secondary care go-lives to date as well as many GP, community and child health deployments. Having successfully re-invented itself as an NPfIT implementation consultancy in recent years, System C is now being bullish about prospects as a clinical software vendor.

System C says it is also developing unspecified further applications under development for the acute and community markets.

Earlier this month the company announced it had successfully completed the first stage of the implementation of a new PAS and EPR for the Isle of Man, on time and on budget.

Care Records’ Eclipse products are developed using the framework, the same development environment as MedWay Sigma, System C’s Patient Management and Electronic Patient Record system, currently under development. The Eclipse products are said to have been fully integrated with MedWay as part of System C’s recent deployment at the Isle of Man.

Care Records has sold and implemented its maternity software at four hospitals: Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trusts; Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals Foundation Trust; and the Nobles Hospital on the Isle of Man, where it was part of a consortium led by System C. The diabetes management system has been installed at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

System C says it will maintain and extend Care Records’ relationship with Huntleigh Healthcare, and is setting up joint distribution and collaboration agreements with Huntleigh for both the UK and overseas markets.


Jon Hoeksma