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Acquisition saves HSC's debt-ridden data partner

Acquisition saves HSC's debt-ridden data partner

Monday 11 October 2021

Acquisition saves HSC's debt-ridden data partner


Uncertainty behind the continued operation of HSC’s new data partner has been removed after a major acquisition took on £240 million of its debt.

Earlier this year, following an “extensive procurement service” that started in March 2019, the Committee for Health and Social Care announced its preferred supplier for Community and Child Health software services as Servelec, as Sheffield-based informatics company.

The news was announced alongside an update on the continued transformation of HSC through the Partnership of Purpose, and its intention to completely digitise patient records.

The ‘My eHealth Record’ system should be fully installed by mid-2024.

Servelec was chosen as one of two software suppliers that would support HSC on this journey, the other being IMS Maxims. Servelec, having worked alongside the States for several years, would provide its Electronic Patient Record software for use in recording Community and Child Health services.

Despite this, concerns were raised to Express that Servelec could be deemed a high-risk partnership due it’s ‘going concern’ being called into question during its 2020 Accounts.

As of 6 August, Servelec had accrued more than £240m in debt with interest rates on some unsecured loans of up to 12%.

The accounts indicated that the organisation was up for sale and its going concern was uncertain because of this. It was unknown whether any potential new owners could and would settle the debts it had accrued.

Despite this, just over a month later it had been named as HSC’s preferred supplier.

Servelec_2.png

Pictured: Servelec’s accounts for the year end 31 December 2020 are published online.

Less than a month before it was named by HSC, Servelec and all of its subsidiary entities were acquired by The Access Group, a national health and social care software provider.

“This was a significant and strategic purchase by Access based on the strong and growing performance of the Servelec products and people,” said a spokesperson for Servelec.

“Servelec now forms a major part of Access’ Health and Social Care Division and materially strengthens its position as an IT provider to local authorities and health trusts.”

This acquisition saw Servelec’s company directors resign, and new ones appointed. Additionally, £240m worth of debt was fully paid off by the Access Group.

“Clearly, that repayment further strengthens Servelec’s financial position,” continued the spokesperson.

The acquisition also saw Servelec’s year-end extended to 30 June 2022, potentially impacting its credit score but accepted as “a feature of becoming part of a profitable and stable IT group.”

MSG_PEH.png

Pictured: The ‘My eHealth Record’ system will join together records from HSC, the Medical Specialist Group, and other care providers.

Any concerns about the future of Servelec have been put to bed by the firm, which now sits within The Access Group's wider business.

“The uncertainty disclosed in the accounts clearly states and relates solely and exclusively to those ongoing sale process negotiations,” said the spokesperson.

“That sale process concluded successfully less than three weeks later, completely removing the uncertainty referred to.”

Express also requested assurances from the States of Guernsey about the choice of Servelec, which was made before that deal was concluded.

“We are very confident in Servelec’s ability to deliver against our stated requirements. Reiterating what we conveyed in the media release, Servelec emerged as a clear lead bidder in a robust procurement process which attracted a number of leading industry names,” said the HSC programme team.

“The States has since completed considerable due diligence as part of its continuing commercial negotiations with Servelec which has further confirmed its suitability to provide part of HSC’s new electronic patient record system solution.”

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