Civica has increased its presence in the healthcare market with the purchase of electronic document management specialists, Gateway Computing.

The Civica Group, which specialises in software applications such as its patient administration system, Paris, and business process services for the public sector, wants to increase the deployment of Gateway’s EDM system in the NHS.

Tim Magness, the marketing director of a group that has had “uninterrupted growth” in the last ten years, told eHealth Insider that he was confident the partnership would be a success as the company has completed 16 acquisitions since it started in 2002.

“It’s a very good fit as we have got experience of working with the NHS and we have experience of similar acquisitions. We are now focussed on continued growth of the organisations and the complementary nature of it,” he explained.

Magness said that the acquisition will provide the companies with a “strong foothold” in the healthcare sector, which will allow for the delivery of greater “streamlined services and improved productivity and savings” for NHS trusts.

The new partnership sees the organisations supplying a sample of its services to over 275 NHS trusts, including more than 80% of acute trusts in England.

Gateway will continue to exist under the Civica umbrella and all staff have been retained in their current roles.

Magness told EHI that the partnership would aim to provide “broader services to customers at greater value”, including more access to customers to the EDM system with the hope of producing a more “productive and efficient” service.

Gateway, which currently provides EDM systems to more than 50 NHS organisations, including Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, also outsources scanning services to a company which originally began in-house.

Gateway’s Bureau Services, which digitise more than 140m images annually, will not directly fall under the Civica umbrella but will continue to work closely as a partner of the organisations.

Scott Wilce, managing director of Gateway Computing, told EHI that he was excited about the partnership as he believes the area of “managed services and hosting”, which Civica provides, is set to become a “big player” in the healthcare market.

“A year ago the board made the decision that we needed to grow as we were beginning to stand still. We needed more energy and more resource into the company and that is what Civica will provide.

“The combination of our solutions with Civica’s services will provide the capability to respond to our customers and in particular improve the handling of documents and data in order to transform the way they work,” he said.

Civica’s chief executive, Simon Downing, said that he was delighted to welcome Gateway to the group.

“The business strengthens and extends our position in an important market area in keeping with our vision to help customers streamline their services and achieve significant savings through a distinctive combination of specialist systems, IT managed services and business process outsourcing.”