University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK, has selected Siemens Healthcare to manage a 13-year Imaging Infrastructure Support Service (IISS) partnership. The partnership, according to a release, demonstrates the Trust’s long-term commitment to the imaging department in providing excellent levels of patient care using the latest diagnostic equipment. Based on the MES concept, the IISS contract is expected to add additional capacity, allowing the Trust to improve throughput and diagnose and treat increasing numbers of patients.
138 systems will be delivered under the partnership, including a range of computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), angiography, digital radiography X-ray, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and breast imaging systems. Siemens Healthcare, it was announced, will provide maintenance, provision, replacement and training associated with imaging equipment for the life of the contract, enabling clinicians to concentrate on patient care, leaving all equipment related issues and concerns to Siemens.
The long-term contract also ensures the imaging department can adapt to the evolving medical technology landscape to deliver excellence in healthcare. The MES arrangement is both flexible and scalable, allowing the contract to adjust to market conditions and the Trust’s requirements, while an integrated approach to investment provides a predetermined annual payment profile for financial certainty, according to a release.
“In the current financial climate, it was important to rigorously select an assured, effective and sustainable service that would support the Trust in delivering excellent healthcare. We wanted more than a traditional MES-type contract, we wanted to be covered for the replacement of technology to agreed standards, maintenance, training and associated requisite works. The contract has built-in flexibility and scalability, allowing it to evolve with our requirements and ensuring we can keep pace with the technological landscape,” said Aaron Hutchison, IISS project leader and programme manager at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
“From a clinical point of view, the early weeks of the operational phase were as smooth as possible, with Siemens providing experienced interim staff from existing MES sites while they searched for their permanent on-site staff at Southampton,” said Andy White, lead superintendent radiographer at University Hospital Southampton.
“The Trust is dedicated to delivering effective, high quality healthcare and the imaging department plays a pivotal role in supporting this objective. We see the IISS as a vital tool, providing us with extra capacity and advanced technology to provide an excellent level of patient care,” commented Ivan Brown, consultant cardiothoracic radiologist and IISS clinical lead at Southampton General Hospital. “The partnership allows the Trust the freedom to select the most advanced and appropriate equipment on the market at the time of replacement to meet patient needs, irrespective of manufacturer. This in turn will expand the opportunities open to us, such as conducting R&D studies, providing image-guided therapeutic procedures and expanding patient throughput, while increasing patient access to imaging and maintaining and improving service and image quality.”
“A close partnership with University Hospital Southampton has allowed us to develop a detailed understanding of the Trust’s objectives in order to effectively manage and provide access to innovative medical technology and equipment,” said Nancy West, head of Business Development, Managed Services at Siemens Healthcare. “In addition to simplified financial planning, Siemens manages all equipment concerns, from installation and training through to maintenance and risk management. This ensures the Trust can focus on its top priority of delivering excellent patient care.”