Althea – the world’s largest managed service and maintenance provider – has delivered a major radiology equipment investment at Peterborough City Hospital.
This includes three DR x-ray rooms with Samsung equipment. The rooms are a mixture of GC85’s and GC70 – equipment chosen for their reliability. The GC85 is a fully automated, digital suite designed to reduce physical stress on users, increase patient output and deliver superb quality images.
The second major installation completed in March 2019 was a Canon Radiotherapy CT, used to plan treatment for cancer patients. It was vital this project ran to schedule to avoid delays to patients’ treatments. The Radiotherapy department were able to work in conjunction with the diagnostic team in Radiology to share the diagnostic CT throughout the installation.
A Philips Allura Clarity FD20 was also installed in the Interventional Suite. The replacement plan involved revising the layout of the room to allow for a better workflow. The lighting was also upgraded to LED within the main theatre to provide better light for all users – a change which has impacted positively on clinicians’ day-to-day working environment.
David Rolfe, Althea’s UK & Ireland CEO explains: “Althea offers North West Anglia a high-quality and cost-effective managed service. We have a team of 14 staff based on the largest site, Peterborough City Hospital, which includes Medical Engineers, Equipment Library staff, Administrators, Operational Co-coordinators, and Operational Management.”
“We provide servicing and maintenance for all medical equipment in diagnostic imaging, biomedical engineering and pathology, which ranges from MRI scanners and specialist pathology devices through to operating theatres, endoscopy and general ward equipment. The contract has over 70 KPIs to meet on a monthly basis to ensure the best possible level of service is achieved.”
Another project completed was the removal of x-ray equipment in the resuscitation area and replacing this with a mobile digital solution. The Trust initially had an x-ray machine in all four resuscitation bays, which hung down from the ceiling and could only be used in resus. Althea suggested that this system was replaced by a cutting-edge digital solution to make the service more mobile and adaptable. Today, clinicians no longer need to use a resus bay when using the equipment and the mobile technology can move to other areas of the hospital if demand requires.
A further benefit was the upgrade of the Fluoroscopy suite with a Canon CT Prime 80. Fewer patients were being seen in the Fluoroscopy suite as many of them are sent for a CT scan instead. Althea and the clinical team worked together to plan an upgrade of this room from a Fluoroscopy suite to a dedicated CT colonoscopy suite. This scanner can now take over the workload of CT colons. Using a CT scanner for Colon scans gives the clinicians more data of the bowel, giving a high sensitivity for picking up early stages of bowel cancer.
Being entirely vendor-independent ensures Althea is not tied to any one manufacturer and can offer hospitals the most clinically effective and cost-efficient service for their clinical needs. This means the hospital can choose equipment and clinical consumables from any manufacturer as well as select the most appropriate blend of maintenance providers, including Althea’s ISO13485-certificated, in-house engineering workforce.
Althea’s services are also supported by the Customer Care Centre (CCC) which provides a single point-of-contact and first line of support for all medical equipment maintenance and servicing queries.
David added: “We are extremely customer-oriented and strive to take that extra step, each and every time. For example, we offer an out-of-hours service as standard. We work to avoid clinical disruption of services; rather, we free-up clinical time so that clinicians can remain focused on patient care.”
2020 is set to be a very exciting year at Peterborough City Hospital as it marks 10 years since most of the imaging equipment was installed. Most of the equipment was purchased on a 10-year lifecycle so it is now being replaced by Althea with new equipment. 37 items are planned to be replaced in 2020 with a value in excess of £10m.
Althea is the largest vendor-independent managed service and maintenance provider for the acute healthcare sector. The medical technology service company offer UK and Ireland hospitals a range of technology services including multi-vendor maintenance, integrated clinical consumables management and equipment sales/rentals.