Healthcare technology company McKesson UK has said it intends to re-apply for the contract to administer the NHS’s human resources and staff payroll system after its current contract expires in 2015.

The firm has administered the health service’s electronic staff record system since its inception in 2001 but its current contract is set to end in August 2015, following a one-year extension agreed with the Department of Health.

“McKesson and its ESR team is extremely proud of its track record of operating the NHS ESR,” a company spokesman said. “With the 10-year ESR contract now coming to a successful conclusion we are looking forward to the new and exciting challenges posed by the forthcoming re-procurement.”

The re-procurement process will take place while the company looks for a buyer, following the announcement in May by its US parent McKesson Corp of its intention to sell off its European subsidiaries.

The Department of Health has confirmed companies interested in taking on the next ESR contract - set to be worth £250m-£450m and envisaged to last between 5-7 years - will be issued with a pre-qualification questionnaire in the coming weeks.

A DH spokeswoman said: “The electronic staff record is the largest HR and payment system in the world, and has an excellent track record. It costs less than £40m a year, and according to an independent review by the Office of Government Commerce, delivers annual benefits to the NHS of around £200m.

“We want to increase the benefits the electronic staff record brings the NHS. At the same time, in line with the government’s commitment to efficiency, we are hoping to bring down the cost of the contract through a competitive procurement process.”

Cerner has confirmed that it will not be bidding for the new business, while CSC and Capita have refused to comment on their plans.