Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Siemens Healthcare have commenced a multi million, 15-year Managed Equipment Service (MES) agreement. This will guarantee the latest medical equipment in the main radiology department, the ongoing maintenance of existing systems and user training for the lifetime of the contract.
With modern and well maintained equipment in place, the services offered to the local community will remain at a high standard whatever the future changes in wider NHS policy or budgets.
The stable investment plan at the centre of the MES agreement creates certainty for the Trust. An annual charge is payable to enable greater transparency and budget management, plus the contract ring fences investment for the future so that nothing is used beyond its recommended life and that a rolling equipment replacement programme is in place.
“New imaging equipment will make a massive difference to the services we provide to patients and in boosting the radiology team’s morale. We’ve been struggling for years with old devices that frequently broke down and impacted on our ability to meet targets,” states Catherine Walsh, Radiology Business Manager at Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
“The view ahead is now so much more certain. We approached MES as a partnership, not a transactional purchase, and we’re confident that Siemens will work closely with us on the 15-year journey ahead.”
“In the past, equipment procurement was all about what we could afford from capital money and over time investment in radiological assets did not keep pace with changing needs and technology. The MES contract planning has forced us to focus on what is an acceptable level of capex and it revealed that we clearly were not committing enough to equipment refreshment in the past,” states Gary Raphael, Financial Director at Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
“Now we have expert help to guide us in the right direction. Working in partnership with Siemens gives us certainty of quality, risk management and a dedicated focus on radiology equipment replacement.”
During the first year of the MES contract, five Digital Radiography general X-ray rooms, three mobile X-ray systems, one fluoroscopy suite and six ultrasound devices will be upgraded or replaced. The existing MRI system will also undergo a Siemens TIM (Total imaging matrix) upgrade to extend its lifespan and improve service delivery. Over time, X-ray equipment will be consolidated into one department next to A&E to deliver further workflow and efficiency gains.
“The concept of Managed Equipment Services is now a mature offering for hospitals and has been proven to deliver value for money and financial savings over the long-term when compared to Trusts procuring major capital equipment items themselves,” states Philip Peace, Director of Managed Equipment Services at Siemens Healthcare.
“Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will now be able to embrace cost savings at the same time as extending its provision of clinical services and competitiveness to patient communities. At the same time, if services or requirements change during the long-term contract, flexible provisions are built in to ‘flex-up’ or down in tune with needs.”