Althea is announcing the service start of its tenth vendor-neutral managed equipment service, at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. The 10-year partnership, which has optional extensions up to a further 10 years, will oversee: the ongoing maintenance of all radiology assets, the provision of an integrated clinical consumables management service, as well as a major asset replacement programme and departmental re-design.

By January 2019 the trust will have 19 new items of Radiology equipment and will have increased its CT and MR capacity by 50 per cent allowing for the repatriation of clinical services. A new 3T MR scanner is being funded through charitable donations and a new cardiac-enabled CT scanner is being funded through the service. Other new items to be delivered include three DR retrofit mobile X-rays, two fluoroscopy suites, a bone densitometer, two injectors, two surgical c-arms, five ultrasounds, and two X-ray rooms.

To accommodate the new CT and MR scanners Althea’s in-house design team have worked with the trust to improve the department, introducing new ultrasound, CT, MR, and fluoroscopy sub-locations as well as an upgraded radiology main reception. Althea’s re-design services are fully aligned with ISAS’s patient-focussed assessment and accreditation programme and will: improve patient experience ensuring privacy and dignity, maximise patient safety by ensuring issues like infection control are built into design, and provide a staff working environment conducive to maximising clinical time.

As well as equipment replacement the service includes high-quality maintenance of all clinical imaging systems. All maintenance activities are performance-managed by Althea’s single point-of-contact Service Centre which is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday as standard. Maintenance is being delivered by a flexible combination of original equipment manufacturers and independent service organisations (ISO) including Althea’s on-site and field-based engineering teams.

Althea’s ability to deliver value is further enhanced by the integrated consumables management service which will deliver both cash-releasing savings and significant operational efficiencies for the Radiology, procurement and finance teams including: stock optimisation, spend management, and supplier rationalisation. Althea’s service includes a stock management IT system and on-site staff to deliver cost controls, eliminate stock out events and stock loss. The stock management system will also provide high-quality procedure-level cost data that integrates into the trust’s PLICS.

The service reduces non-clinical activities for the clinical teams in the areas of stock management and re-ordering, while ensuring they retain full control over the selection and choice of consumables. Althea’s CEO, David Rolfe explains: “We are delighted to enter into this long-term partnership with Musgrove Park Hospital.

Our vendor-neutral managed service has been customised to the hospital’s specific needs and is the most cost-effective way to ensure their patients have access to the latest diagnostic technology in first-class, patient-focussed facilities.”

Adam Turner, Operational Manager in Diagnostic Imaging at the trust, says he is excited by the hospital’s new partnership with Althea. “Due to this new partnership, we will be able to create much-needed additional capacity, along with reinforced confidence in our ability to continue to provide a high-quality imaging service. With a larger demand on our imaging services, it is reassuring that our existing equipment will be refreshed as it means we can continue to keep up with new radiological techniques.”

Musgrove Park Hospital is a district general NHS hospital providing care to a population of over 340,000 as well as specialist services for the whole of Somerset, making a catchment population around 544,000. Every year Musgrove Park Hospital sees over 41,000 patients admitted as emergencies and makes around 235,000 diagnostic imaging examinations. The hospital has around 4,000 staff, and an annual budget of circa £250 million.

For more information on Althea’s innovative services please call 0118 900 8100, visit www.althea-group.com/uk or follow us on Twitter @AltheaUKI.