The digital software provider Servelec has acquired specialists in social prescription technology Elemental Software.
Elementary, based in Derry, uses technology to connect people to the right support services in their community to try to address the social issues they experience and reduce the pressure on health services.
Social prescription is considered a vital element in helping the UK cope with the long-term impacts of Covid-19, which led to Servelec moving to this space with the acquisition of Elemental.
The move will allow Servelec to support public services at the community level and advocate for an open ecosystem by working with other technology providers to join health and care, according to a company statement.
The acquisition will allow Servelec to offer social prescription through integrations with its Rio electronic patient registry (EPR) and the Mosaic social care case management software, which is already used in more than 45 NHS trusts. and more than 150 local authorities.
Ian Crichton, CEO of Servelec, said: “Following our commitment to improving life with the technology that matters, we will support Elemental to accelerate its growth plans and further drive the successful adoption and implementation of social prescription throughout the UK.
“With its focus on adding community health and wellness and reducing health inequality, Elemental is clearly well aligned with our goal of connecting communities through digital care.
“Together, through social prescribing, we have a huge opportunity to connect people with community-based programs, services, and interventions that have a positive impact on their lives.”
Social prescribing is a method of pointing people to non-medical sources of support in the community to help improve their well-being. It often includes activities such as fitness, gardening, cooking and support groups.
It can help reduce the demand for top-notch services and is shown to improve the lives of people with social, emotional or practical needs that doctors or medications alone cannot meet.
Jennifer Neff, chief executive of Elemental, added: “This is good news for social prescribing. Servelec shares a similar commitment to improving life with technology and is firmly committed to accelerating Elemental’s growth to drive ‘successful adoption and implementation of the social prescription.
“Working with our Elemental team and Servelec’s new colleagues, we can’t wait to move forward maximizing the potential provided by the reunion of these two fast-growing businesses.”
Elementary recently became the first social prescription solution out there added to the NHS GP IT Futures Framework.
The social prescription has been part of the general medical services contract since 2019, but until the inclusion of Elemental it was not part of GP’s computer systems.
The NHS long-term plan suggests that almost a million people will qualify for referral to social prescription systems by 2024.
In the summer of 2020, the British Medical Association said the social prescription should be incorporated into GP computer systems to ensure that internships reach their “maximum potential”.