Asteral celebrates eighth anniversary with UHL with new consumables management service

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (“UHL”) and Asteral are celebrating the eight anniversary of their Asteral Select partnership with the inclusion of a clinical consumables management service. The 18-year managed service began in 2007, following the success of Asteral’s original MES contract which commenced in 2004. Across three hospital sites Asteral now manages and maintains over 250 diagnostic imaging assets including seven CT scanners and six MR scanners, most of which were replaced with state-of-the-art technology last year (click here for more information).

In addition to the traditional equipment planning and procurement, design, build, installation, and ongoing maintenance Asteral’s Select service at UHL has evolved to include a clinical consumables management service (“CMS”), the provision of non-clinical and technical staff, as well as the provision of integrated IT systems. Following the transfer of on-site consumables staff, Asteral now manages the Cardiology consumables and procedure packs for nine catheter laboratories across UHL and the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre which together perform over 450 procedures per annum.

Asteral is unique in the marketplace due to its proven capability and capacity to deliver a clinical consumables management service including contrast media. Asteral has invested in and secured an MHRA Wholesale Dealer’s Licence for the handling of contrast media, and developed our own CMS IT infrastructure to provide integrated procurement, inventory management and procedure level costings for Cardiology and Interventional Radiology departments. Asteral is one of the largest independent buyers of clinical consumables in the UK, and in addition to savings related to managed service tax efficiencies, we have achieved economies of scale that lead to real procurement savings for our customers. Asteral has a catalogue of 3,000 clinical consumables sourced from 65 suppliers in line with its ethos of vendor-independence.

Through our multi-disciplinary approach to consumables provision, Asteral will deliver efficiencies and cost savings by optimising your stock levels and reducing stock obsolescence, as well as rationalising the supplier base where appropriate whilst maintaining clinical choice.

Jason Long, Business Development Director at Asteral, commented: “Asteral is pleased to celebrate the anniversary of this contract, which demonstrates the longstanding relationships that Asteral forms with its customers. We are really happy that the service continues to be developed to meet changing customer needs and we are delighted to have added clinical consumables management to the overall service.  We are working hard to help UHL achieve the best patient care by providing clinical choice of equipment across our Asteral Select customers and delivering uptimes in excess of 99%.”

For more information on Asteral’s services please call 0118 900 8100

Asteral Select & Whittington’s 10-Year Anniversary

Asteral is pleased to announce that December 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of our long-term partnership with Whittington Health NHS Trust.  Asteral currently manages and maintains 66 Trust assets including 2 CT scanners, 1 MR scanner, 20 x-ray systems, 2 mammography units and 16 ultrasounds.

Over 10 years Asteral has replaced all major items of diagnostic imaging at Whittington Hospital at least once, including the installation of a new Philips Ingenia 1.5T Omega HP MRI Scanner, which weighed six tonnes and required heavy duty lifting and positioning via a third floor window.  The installation came 28 weeks after the Trust’s decision to procure the MRI as a variation to the existing Asteral Select contract, and 14 weeks after planning permission was received.  This demonstrates the flexibility of an Asteral Select contract and shows how Asteral brings together the required expertise and project management skills to deliver complex projects within challenging timeframes.

Adrian Trinidade, MRI Superintendent at The Whittington Hospital, commented “The ability to adapt the service to our individual requirements throughout the length of a long-term contract is a great benefit and extremely reassuring, allowing the Trust to have increased flexibility with its equipment selection and, in turn, offer its patients access to the latest in diagnostic imaging equipment technologies.”

Whittington Health NHS Trust selected Asteral as its partner because of our vendor-independence and flexibility to meet the changing demands of the health economy.  The Asteral Select service integrates seamlessly with the Trust’s existing PFI contract, provides full financing for all equipment, and reduces the Trust’s costs and financial risk.  The Asteral Select contract takes responsibility for the strategic management of medical equipment, allowing the hospital management team to maintain their focus on patient care.

Whittington Health NHS Trust is located in North London and cares for a population of 500,000 with a priority of providing the right care at the right time for patients to ensure the community they serve live healthier lives.

For more information on Asteral’s services please call 0118 900 8100.

5 years of Peterborough City Hospital

 

Peterborough City Hospital, part of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, celebrated its 5-year anniversary this month, with a fun-filled, family-friendly open day held for the public on Saturday 21st November.  More than 600 people attended the event where staff gave their time for free to showcase each department’s success to members of the public.

The day allowed visitors to enter parts of the hospital which are usually prohibited, giving them a ‘behind the scenes’ look into how different parts of the hospital operate.  A number of activities took place throughout the day, including a giant game of Operation, lessons in taking blood, and children were encouraged to bring their teddies to the teddy bear clinic where they could have them x-rayed by the diagnostic imaging team.  Funded by Asteral, cakes, stickers and booklets were also given out to guests.

Asteral is proud to have sponsored the hospital’s celebrations having worked with the hospital since before it opened in November 2010.  Asteral inputted into the design of all Radiology rooms, and ensured there was a smooth transfer and relocation of assets from Peterborough District Hospital.  Asteral continues to deliver a managed equipment service replacing multiple pieces of diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy and biomed equipment on pre-agreed lifecycles, delivering all planned preventative and reactive maintenance, as well as managing the on-site biomed team – all examples of the flexibility of an Asteral Select contract.

Asteral procures new cone beam CT for Leicester

Asteral has recently procured and installed a new Carestream CS 9300 cone beam CT (CBCT) for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) as a part of its Asteral Select contract.

The new scanner is pictured above with (from left): Lloyd Stewart, Asteral Implementation Manager; Dr Ram Vaidhyanath, Consultant Radiologist; Colin Ross, Superintendent Radiographer; and Tony Hulbert, Carestream Head & Neck Imaging Specialist

The new scanner is capable of performing CT scans of the head and jaw much faster than a regular CT and gives a lower dose of radiation: Asteral can procure a wide range of equipment for its customers to help Trusts to expand their services. This scanner will reduce waiting times for those that require head/jaw scans and means that the larger CT scanners are available for other procedures.

The CBCT will also be made available to community dentists, which means that a new form of income has been created for the Trust.

Please visit the following web page for UHL’s video regarding the new machine: http://vimeo.com/channels/796349/113106542

Asteral celebrates four-year anniversary with Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The fourth anniversary of Asteral’s Select contract with Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was celebrated on 1st September 2014.

The seven-year contract started in 2010, and included the vendor-independent selection, procurement, installation, training and maintenance of two new CT scanners and contrast injectors. Prior to the installation of the new equipment, Asteral managed the de-installation and remarketing of old equipment, user training, as well as the provision of room design services and turnkey works to accommodate the new equipment.

Further to the success of the Select contract, in 2013 Asteral was entrusted with the maintenance of the rest of Kingston’s Radiology portfolio through its innovative Protect service.

Stephen Hodgson, Chief Operating Officer at Asteral, commented: “Asteral is pleased to celebrate the anniversary of this service and is working hard to help the Trust provide the best patient care.”

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust shortlisted for HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards

Asteral are pleased to announce that Seven day imaging for cancer from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) has been shortlisted in the Value and Improvement in the use of Diagnostics category for the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards.

This is the first HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards, successor to the HSJ Efficiency Awards, and seeks to recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement.

This nomination is demonstrative of the success of the UHL’s imaging department, which Asteral provides with a managed equipment service. Asteral has procured and installed eleven new CT and MR scanners for UHL since March 2013, giving the Trust, and its patients, access to the latest and most suitable technology. Please click here for more information regarding these installations.

The HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards will be held on 23rd September at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel with NHS and independent sector industry leaders attending.

Andy Jones, Asteral’s Head of Implementation and Technology, commented: “Asteral is delighted to have supported UHL’s Imaging Department and is thrilled that their hard work is being recognised. The new technology means that the Trust and its staff is providing the best patient care and we wish them every success at the awards evening.”

Asteral completes largest installation of MR and CT equipment in a single NHS Trust

The largest installation of MR and CT scanners for a single NHS Trust was completed by Asteral at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) in March, with the delivery of a GE Optima MR 750w and a Toshiba Aquilion One at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The Trust-wide equipment reconfiguration is being undertaken as part of Asteral’s Select contract. The final deliveries completed the enhancement of the radiology department with a total of eleven new CT and MR scanners from a range of manufacturers.

Andy Jones, General Manager for Implementation and Technology at Asteral, said: “The equipment reconfiguration began with an evaluation of the changing clinical requirements of UHL’s radiology service, to understand how to best update the existing suite of CT and MR scanners. Asteral worked closely with UHL to ensure we met the Trust’s specific clinical requirements and that we were able to procure and install the most suitable equipment from a range of suppliers.”

UHL now has a comprehensive range of scanners from three suppliers including: an Aquilion One and three Aquilion CXL CT scanners from Toshiba; a Definition AS+ CT scanner and Definition Flash CT scanner, along with two Magnetom Aera 1.5T MR scanners from Siemens; and an MR750w GEM 3.0T MR scanner and two MR450w GEM 1.5T MR scanners from GE.

In addition the Trust has taken delivery of eleven injectors, supplied by Bayer, including five Medrad Spectris Solaris MR injection systems and six Medrad Stellant D Dual Syringe CT injection systems with Certegra Workstations. The Trust will gain access to Certegra CT Contrast Dose Management and the integral informatics platform will support the radiology department in driving protocol standardisation and easily accessing audit data.

Asteral, the UK’s leading vendor-independent provider of managed equipment services, combines a unique blend of technical, financial and commercial expertise that offers significant cost savings and performance improvements across every stage of the equipment lifecycle. Asteral’s innovative approach helps trusts make direct savings by converting the lifetime variable costs of managing their critical equipment into efficient and predictable operational costs.

Christopher Langley, Asteral’s Chief Executive, commented: “With vendor neutrality, Asteral is in the unique position to be able to offer access to the latest medical technology and offer the most appropriate equipment to meet a Trust’s clinical and financial needs. We are providing up-to-the-minute diagnostic imaging equipment to UHL under the terms of their long-standing managed equipment service. Asteral’s simple, transparent approach is a highly-effective technique for generating savings and efficiencies within the NHS, and we are delighted to have assisted UHL in ensuring it offers the best possible care to its patients.”

Judy Gilmore, UHL Radiology Service Manager, added: “Asteral’s multiLIFE solution has enabled the Trust to acquire an updated and state-of-the-art range of scanning equipment. This allows us to provide the most advanced cross sectional imaging service to our diverse population. The unique opportunity to choose equipment from a range of manufacturers all under one contract means that we know we are getting the most appropriate suite of equipment for our needs. The process has been challenging as we have delivered the same level of clinical service throughout and we are indebted to the staff and patients for their understanding and flexibility during this time. We are delighted with the installations and know we can continue to offer the best possible patient care from our enhanced radiology departments across the three UHL sites.”

Asteral celebrates anniversary at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

1st June 2014 was the seventh anniversary of Asteral’s Select contract with The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (“UHL”).

The eighteen-year  contract with UHL started in 2007, following Asteral’s original contract with the Trust which began in 2004. Asteral has recently managed a £45m variation to contract – providing the Trust with the flexibility to meet changing clinical and financial needs – the largest variation that Asteral has undertaken since the organisation was established in 2001. Asteral manages 261 assets at the Trust and in the past eighteen months has procured eleven CT and MR scanners. As a result, UHL now has access to the latest technology for their CT and MR needs.

Christopher Langley, Chief Executive Officer at Asteral, commented: “Asteral is pleased to celebrate the anniversary of this contract, which is demonstrative of the longstanding relationships that Asteral forms with its customers. We are working hard to help UHL achieve the best patient care by providing clinical choice of equipment across our Asteral Select scheme and delivering uptimes in excess of 98%.”

New MRI Scanner delivered to the Whittington Health NHS Trust

Asteral is pleased to announce the successful delivery and installation of a Philips Ingenia 1.5T Omega HP MRI Scanner to The Whittington Health NHS Trust on 5th May 2014. This delivery comes 28 weeks after the Trust’s decision to procure another MRI as a variation to the Asteral Select contract, and 14 weeks after planning permission was received. The delivery is demonstrative of the flexibility of Asteral’s contracts and shows how Asteral brings together the required expertise and project management skills to deliver complex projects within challenging timeframes.

Adrian Trinidade, MRI Superintendent at The Whittington Health NHS Trust, commented “The ability to adapt the managed equipment service to our individual requirements throughout the length of a long-term contract is a great benefit and extremely reassuring, allowing the Trust to have increased flexibility with its equipment selection and, in turn, offer its patients access to the latest in diagnostic imaging equipment technologies. The new scanner will enable us to deliver innovative scanning techniques as well as meet the ever expanding service requirements for both planned and non-elective patients.”

Andy Jones, Asteral’s Head of Implementation and Technology, leads a team that ensures clinical facilities are future-proofed: fit to accommodate changes in equipment manufacturer throughout the contract term with Asteral and beyond. Plans for any new build works are prepared to ensure patient and staff needs and the technical requirements of the equipment are all fully considered in room design.

As the MRI was delivered to the third-floor of the Hospital it was a challenging delivery involving a ten-metre crane to place the four-and-a-half-tonne machine in the prepared room.

Andy commented, “The project involved a challenging third-floor installation in a confined area, but it all went well. The new scanner, which is intended to be in service in June 2014, will double the MR capacity/capabilities of The Whittington Hospital. This will improve the service to the local community and Asteral is pleased to have played a part in this development.”