Rutherford Health has announced that it has entered into a contract with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to provide diagnostic services via a new state-of-the-art diagnostics facility.
The centre will provide a wide range of diagnostic services and will help expedite the delivery of test results.
The agreement with the trust has been reached with Rutherford Health’s diagnostics subsidiary, Rutherford Diagnostics, and will last for five years, with an option to extend to 10 years.
The centre is expected to be built and operational by the second half of 2021.
The diagnostic services will include Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, ultrasound, X-ray and other relevant diagnostic services, which will be facilitated by Rutherford Health’s long-term technology partner, Philips.
In addition to providing services to NHS patients, the centre will also be available to private medical insurance and self-pay patients in the South West.
We hope that this partnership will act as a catalyst to transform diagnostic services in Britain
The diagnostics centre will be the first of up to five similar centres to be built under a Development Framework Agreement between Rutherford Health and Equitix, a leading investor, developer and long-term fund manager of core infrastructure and energy-efficiency assets in the UK and Europe.
It will be located on a site, to be confirmed, in the Taunton area.
Mike Moran, chief executive of Rutherford Health, said: “At a time when COVID-19 has impacted healthcare services across the board, this agreement demonstrates the tremendous potential of collaboration between the independent and public sectors.
“Our state-of-the-art facility will be built at no capital cost to the NHS, but it will primarily be NHS patients who benefit.
“This partnership is also very timely. The need for faster, more-efficient diagnostics services was identified as a priority in the NHS 10-year plan and that was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the knock-on effect it is going to have on services for some time to come.
“We hope that this partnership will act as a catalyst to transform diagnostic services in Britain.”
At a time when COVID-19 has impacted healthcare services across the board, this agreement demonstrates the tremendous potential of collaboration between the independent and public sectors
David Shannon, director of strategy and improvement at the trust, added: “This contract will support us to deliver real improvements to our patients.
“We want to ensure that we have access to timely, state-of-the-art diagnostics and to provide the best-possible experience for our patients.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant our access to diagnostic capacity has been, and will continue to be compromised, making this development even more important.”
And Dr Steven Powell, chief diagnostics officer at Rutherford Diagnostics, said: “The Rutherford Diagnostics centre provides state-of-the-art MRI, CT, ultrasound and plain-film capability and aims to deliver efficiencies and innovative services for the people of Somerset.
“Our partnership will deliver better patient experience and health outcomes for the local population.”