Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has awarded Asteral its ninth vendor-independent radiology managed equipment service contract.
The service, known as Asteral Select, includes a comprehensive asset replacement programme as well as the managed maintenance of 77 clinical imaging systems.
With legacy equipment operating towards the end of its recommended lifecycle, it can be challenging for NHS bodies to meet growing demand and adopt new clinical procedures.
In the first 18 months of Asteral’s new service, patients will benefit from the replacement of 19 mobile and fixed systems, a DR upgrade on two X-ray rooms, as well as the supply of two service efficiency ultrasound units.
This initial investment of £2.25m in new technologies is being co-ordinated by Asteral’s vendor-neutral experts with demonstrations already underway to support each clinical team select the most-appropriate equipment for their patients.
In advance of equipment being replaced, the service includes the high-quality planned preventative and re-active maintenance of all clinical imaging systems including three CT and MR scanners, a cardiac cath lab, 20 X-ray units and 17 ultrasounds.
All maintenance activities are being performance-managed by Asteral’s single point-of-contact Service Centre which is open 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday as standard.
Maintenance is being delivered by a flexible combination of original equipment manufacturers and independent service organisations (ISO) including Asteral’s on-site engineering team.
ISOs can safely extend the operational life of appropriate systems while optimising value for money so that limited funds can be invested in new technology.
The managed equipment service is a flexible and cost-effective way for the hospital to invest in high-quality care facilities as part of a sustainable long-term plan
Asteral’s chief executive, David Rolfe, said: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious contract and to be working in partnership with Epsom and St Helier hospitals to ensure they have the latest diagnostic technology for their patients.
“The managed equipment service is a flexible and cost-effective way for the hospital to invest in high-quality care facilities as part of a sustainable long-term plan.”
Darren Rees, procurement project manager at the trust, added: “To have our radiology capital plan agreed for the next seven years is a massive benefit and one which allows our radiology staff to plan equipment evaluations and installations in advance – a comfortable position for everyone involved.
“This agreement alleviates the need for procurement and radiology staff to go through the capital bidding process on each piece of equipment; relieves us of the burden of managing the numerous maintenance agreements we had previously; and significantly lowers our risk in terms of equipment failure.”
And head of radiology services, Mina Deved, said: “The radiology managed equipment service will provide valuable support to the radiology team in managing equipment replacement projects and is a cost-effective solution for equipment maintenance and breakdowns.
“In addition, a newly-refurbished radiology department with state-of-the-art equipment to replace all ageing equipment will offer improved patient experience with access to high-quality imaging and greatly improved staff morale to encourage recruitment and retention of existing staff.”