Healthcare IT software and services specialist System C has purchased UK social services software supplier Liquidlogic.

System C says the acquisition will make it the first to specialise in both health and social services solutions for the UK market. System C will pay up to £14.2m, with an initial payment of £10.2m.

Liquidlogic specialises in the provision of web-based software to the social care sector, including care management systems for adults and children and single assessment tools for older people. Products are developed using its Protocol platform.

The company specialises in systems that support multi-agency collaborative working across the health, social care, education, police and voluntary sectors. It has recently made inroads in developing portals approaches that support the shift to personalised social care.

“For System C, the acquisition represents a significant strategic advance in terms of anchoring its position in the health and social care sectors, expanding its customer base and enhancing its portfolio of products and services,” the company said in a statement.

System C’s chief executive Ian Denley told E-Health Insider, that the two companies have worked together over a number of years, most recently on the Isle of Man, where they have jointly delivered an integrated health and social care system.

Denley said there was huge potential to better support personalised care and emerging integrated care delivery networks. “We’ve had a lot of interest from PCTs on how we can work with them, and there are some really exciting opportunities such as bringing our clinical dashboard into social care.”

The enlarged group will have a substantial presence in the health and social care markets. Liquidlogic has over 43,000 users working across 29 Children’s and 11 Adult social care services and a range of NHS organisations.

System C has provided consultancy services at over 200 healthcare trusts and installed products from its Medway Sigma range of patient management and clinical software applications in over 30.

After recasting itself as an implementation specialist for third party systems, in response to the NHS National Programme for IT, the company has over the past two years made clear its continued ambitions as a broadly-based software developer and vendor serving health and social care.

Four acquisitions have been made over the past two years. In January 2008 System C bought maternity software firm Care Records from medical equipment manufacturer Huntleigh Healthcare and IQ Systems Services, a provider of specialist clinical systems to the independent healthcare sector. And Last May the company bought health RFID specialist Bluestar.

In addition, the company has continued to develop its Medway Sigma product suite and last year launched a consulting arm, Perigon, to handle implementation.

Denley said that the company was looking at other possible takeover targets, but stressed that it was very selective and only bought firms with very complementary technologies. “With Huntleigh it wasn’t just their maternity system but the workflow technology we wanted to incorporate into Medway Sigma, and with Bluestar it was both their knowledge of pathology services and RFID.”

He said that there were no plans to make redundancies at Liquidlogic and said this had not been part of its pattern with past deals.

Denley, said: “We have created an exciting group. Not only does the expanded company have excellent prospects in the health market and the social care sector, but it is perfectly positioned to support the government’s drive to provide integrated care.”

Liquidlogic’s managing director, Ted Brierley, said: “We have worked together at the corporate and product level for many years and we are very excited about addressing large-scale emerging opportunities as a combined group. This merger sets the agenda for suppliers in these markets.”

To fund the Liquidlogic acquisition and strengthen the companies’ balance sheet System C recently completed a £12m rights issue. “This strengthened our balance sheet, which better enable us to compete in anticipated forthcoming procurements.”