Asteral and UHL celebrate 10 years of managed service contract

On 31st July 2017 University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) and Asteral celebrated the tenth anniversary of their vendor-independent managed equipment service – Asteral Select.  The eighteen-year contract started in 2007 and covers over 250 diagnostic imaging systems at UHL’s three hospital sites – Royal Infirmary, Glenfield, and Leicester General – as well as the integrated management of all Interventional Radiology and Cardiology clinical consumables.

Further to the replacement of seven CT and six MR scanners in 2015 Asteral & UHL have continued an active asset replacement programme designed to ensure that patients and staff have access to the latest technology within facilities that optimise patient experience.  Several major milestones have been achieved in the last twelve months.

In November 2016 UHL took delivery of the UK’s first, state-of-the-art MR relocatable unit which improves the patient journey whilst providing flexibility should clinical service demands change in the future.  The unit was constructed at Lamboo Mobile Medical’s factory in the Netherlands and houses a Siemens Healthineers MR scanner which was partly installed in the Netherlands prior to delivery to minimise on-site disruption.

In May 2017 the Trust’s vascular surgery successfully moved location.  The move incorporated the simultaneous refurbishment of a ward at Glenfield to accommodate the vascular surgery patients, the movement of interventional imaging equipment from the Royal Infirmary to Glenfield’s angiography department, and the building and commissioning of a new hybrid theatre facility.  Vascular surgery patients are already realising the benefits of the re-location with all clinical stakeholders within close proximity to each other to collaboratively enhance treatment.

In April 2017 Asteral supported the Trust opening the UK’s first ‘frailty friendly’ Emergency Floor with state-of-the-art embedded imaging including CT and x-ray.  Asteral ensured that the most clinically-appropriate equipment from Philips Healthcare, Samsung Healthcare (distributed by MIS), Toshiba Medical and Bracco UK was selected, installed and commissioned on time within facilities that improve the patient journey whilst speeding up waiting times.

Asteral’s vendor-independent focus on clinical outcomes and patient experience continues in the integrated consumables management service (CMS).  Asteral’s CMS ensures that high-quality clinical consumables and devices are provided to UHL’s Interventional Radiology, Cardiology, and Electrophysiology suites in the right quantities at the right time.  This empowers the clinical teams to deliver compliant, sustainable, and patient-centric services.  The CMS includes full-time on-site stock management staff as well as a complete inventory management system which ensures stock obsolescence is minimised and a reduced on-site stock holding.  As consumables or devices are ordered a synchronous order for replacement stock is automatically generated and the associated cost assigned to the Trust’s patient-level costing system.  Asteral’s CMS actively encourages the Trust to explore latest technologies, new products, and participate in clinical trials.  Innovations include the introduction of leadless pacemakers, new 3D mapping procedures, the first site in Europe to perform robotic ablation, and a screening centre for Boston Scientific Sub-Q implantable cardioverter-defibrillators.

Outside of Cardiology and Interventional Radiology, in August 2016 Asteral installed a state-of-the-art ARX UK Vmax robotic pharmacy with a user-friendly touchscreen and barcode system.  The new automated dispensing system ensures instant access to stock levels, space availability and expiring stock information for the most accurate stock management.  The self-cleaning equipment is also quieter and is 50% more space efficient at storing packets, opening up further storage space for the Trust.

David Rolfe, Asteral’s CEO commented: “We are thrilled to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our partnership with UHL – one of the biggest and busiest NHS Trusts in the country.  Leicester has an unequivocal commitment to its patients and are constantly striving to improve the care they receive – looking at the ways they work, encouraging innovation and offering patients access to the latest technologies.  Our vendor-neutral managed service is fully aligned to these objectives and continues to evolve to help the Trust optimise patient outcomes.  My team is immensely proud of its longstanding partnership with UHL and looks forward to continuing to support the Trust through to 2025.”

UHL’s Head of Operations, Matthew Archer added “the flexibility Asteral has shown to accommodate these innovations and improvements at our hospitals has been second to none. The ability to adapt every aspect of the managed equipment service to each of our departmental needs throughout our long-term contract is a huge benefit to us as well as our patients, with newly-refurbished departments and state-of-the-art equipment contributing to both an increase in staff morale and improved patient experience.”

Asteral proudly sponsors the RAD Magazine Foundation Golf Day 2017

Continuing Asteral’s proud tradition of supporting the RAD Magazine Foundation who are this year raising money for The British Heart Foundation, six members of staff attended this year’s Charity Golf Day which took place at the Cambridge Hallmark Hotel. The event raised over £7,000 for the British Heart Foundation – the biggest independent funder of cardiovascular research in the UK.

Following registration, Ashley Gander (Sales Operations Manager), Stephen Scott (MES Service Manager), Carla Wood (Clinical Equipment Manager), Paul Lucas (Equipment Library Co-ordinator) and Taz Taylor (MES Service Manager) teed-off in the 18-hole individual stableford competition. The event also catered for non-golfers, where Abbie Thompson (Event and Project Co-ordinator) participated in a golf clinic with the club’s professional and took part in a putting competition with the other non-golfers.

Following the day of golf, participants enjoyed a three-course dinner with a raffle and charity auction also taking place.

Pictured left to right: Stephen Scott; Carla Wood; and Paul Lucas. Photograph courtesy of Ben Hensel – Golf Event Photography.

HFMA Annual Conference 2016

Asteral enjoyed yet another successful exhibition at HFMA’s Annual Conference, which took place between Wednesday 7th and Friday 9th December 2016 at the Hilton London Metropole, where more than 600 delegates attended.

The three-day event was opened by motivational success speaker – Joy Marsden, and was this year themed ‘Step Up’. Delegates attended workshops and seminars focused on how the NHS could step up to 2020 and beyond. The Asteral team used the opportunity to promote primarily Asteral Select services, a vendor-independent managed service that reduces costs to Trusts by at least 15% per year less than self-providing the same services. It was also a great opportunity to spread brand awareness to people visiting the stand wanting to learn more about Asteral. The majority of these visitors being those who work in Finance departments in the NHS, working with restricted budgets and therefore exploring innovative ways to save money.

The conference concluded on the Friday afternoon, with the exhibition prize draw which took place on Asteral’s stand with the lucky winners receiving prizes from holiday vouchers to champagne hampers.

Asteral nominates Stockport for The Excellence in Supply Awards 2016

Asteral manages 39 items of diagnostic imaging equipment at Stepping Hill Hospital. Over the equipment’s lifetime, the cost of the original equipment manufacturer’s support can be more than the original purchase price. Asteral therefore worked with the imaging department heads within the Trust’s Radiology division to agree on the purchase of a Protect service contract. This bold commitment by Stockport into a multi-year contract with Asteral as a single managed service provider has saved the Trust in excess of £140K since 2012.

More recently, Stockport’s team has collaborated with Asteral to develop a payment mechanism that provides the Trust with additional cost savings whilst continuing to deliver high-quality services. The Trust will benefit from £70K worth of savings in the first year of the new contract with the potential for a similar level of recurrent savings to be made in each year of the contract moving forwards.

Asteral is pleased to announce that following its nomination, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust was shortlisted for the ‘NHS in the North West’s Excellence in Supply Awards 2016’ in the NHS Supplier Engagement category. The awards ceremony took place on Thursday 20th October at the Village Hotel, Blackpool. The annual event provides a unique opportunity to gain national recognition and celebrates private sector organisations working with the NHS for the delivery of high-quality, effective and efficient patient care.

Well done to everyone nominated in each category and congratulations to all of the winners!

Asteral’s first Heart Rhythm Congress

From 10th – 12th October, Asteral exhibited at Heart Rhythm Congress (HRC) for the first time ever. Over a thousand delegates attended the Cardiology event which took place at The ICC, Birmingham. As always, Asteral had a barista bar on hand to attract the delegates who were able to talk to our sales representatives about an Asteral Select Cath Lab managed service. With Asteral’s stand located right next to the ‘Interactive Area’, this ensured a constant flow of delegates visiting the stand showing interest.

The four-day annual event is the largest heart rhythm event in the UK, providing unrivalled opportunity for health care professionals interested in the management of arrhythmias to share effective practice, show case innovation, learn about latest developments and network with UK & international delegates.

Asteral’s Consumables Managed Services Business Manager, Ruben Olivier, was thrilled at the success of our first time exhibiting at this event, where Asteral representatives were able to establish new and develop existing relationships within the Cardiology community. Ruben stated: “When you have first-hand experience of working in this field, you understand the requirements in a hospital environment which is why Asteral’s Cardiology managed service has been developed with such precision”.

If you missed us at HRC and would like to discuss how our services could help your organisation, please call us on 0118 900 8000.

Consumable Management Service

Download Leicester’s Consumable Management Service case study here.

Asteral has the proven capability and capacity to deliver a reliable, efficient, and patient-focussed clinical consumable management service (CMS). Asteral’s CMS which forms part of an outsourced managed service can save NHS Trusts up to 30% on their clinical consumable and device expenditure on a vendor-neutral basis.

Asteral has designed its own CMS IT infrastructure to provide integrated procurement, inventory management and procedure-level costings for Cardiology and Interventional Radiology services. Asteral is one of the largest independent buyers of clinical consumables and devices in the UK and has achieved economies of scale that lead to real procurement savings and cost avoidance for our NHS customers. Asteral has a catalogue of over 3,000 clinical consumables and devices sourced from 65 suppliers in line with its ethos of vendor-independence and clinical choice. Asteral’s CMS dovetails clinical flexibility with operational efficiencies without compromising research and innovation.

“Asteral has made our clinical services more efficient and more sustainable. They have improved the quality of our management data and significantly reduced our costs without compromising on quality or innovation.”
Darren Turner, General Manager, Cardiology – UHL

Asteral Select – CMS Savings (£K)

£1,255K Managed Service & Outsourcing Efficiencies
£254K Cost Avoidance
£898K Procurement Savings & Buying Power

Longstanding Partnership

Responsible for the Glenfield, General and Royal Infirmary hospitals, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) is one of the biggest and busiest NHS Trusts in the country. UHL serves the one million residents of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as well as nationally-recognised specialist services including Cardiology and Interventional Radiology.

Asteral’s original contract with UHL was signed in 2003 and was the first vendorindependent managed equipment service (MES) covering the funding, procurement, installation and management of £5M of Radiology and Cardiology equipment. Building upon the savings and efficiencies achieved, the Trust awarded Asteral a second MES in June 2007 for a further £24M of equipment and associated facilities.

University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL)

In 2015, as an integrated part of the longstanding managed service at UHL, Asteral launched its innovative CMS. Asteral now manages all the clinical consumables and devices for nine interventional catheter laboratories across UHL and the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre.

Asteral’s CMS ensures that high-quality clinical consumables and devices are provided to the Trust’s Interventional Radiology, Interventional Cardiology, and Electrophysiology suites in the right quantities at the right time. This enables UHL’s clinical teams to deliver compliant, sustainable, and patientcentric services.
In addition to providing operational efficiencies Asteral’s CMS has reduced UHL’s consumables and devices spend by 29% compared to the previous year – a saving of £2.4M.
Without compromising clinical choice or vendor-led innovation, significant cash savings were achieved through Asteral’s:

  • procurement expertise and buying power,
  • cost avoidance techniques, and
  • managed service and outsourcing efficiencies.

Delivering Efficiencies & Innovations

Asteral’s CMS ensures that clinical consumables and devices are provided in the quantities required for UHL’s high-quality clinical services to be sustained. The CMS includes full-time on-site stock management staff as well as a complete inventory management system which ensures there is zero stock obsolescence and a reduced on-site stock holding. Asteral’s local team is supported by a central procurement and logistics function to further reduce UHL’s overheads. As consumables or devices are ordered a synchronous order for replacement stock is automatically generated and the associated cost assigned to the Trust’s patient-level costing system (PLICS) increasing efficiency and eliminating stock obsolescence.

UHL Efficiencies:

  • No stock wastage by managing stock expiry.
  • Real-time device consumption records.
  • Reduced on-site stock and associated storage facilities.
  • Reduced re-implantation rates through device lifetime tracking.

Asteral’s CMS encourages NHS providers to: explore latest technologies, new products, and participate in clinical trials.

UHL Innovations:

  • Procedure-level costings through handheld scanners.
  • Introduction of leadless pacemakers.
  • First in UK & Ireland performing Topera® FIRMap® procedures.
  • One of three UK sites performing novel Acutus Medical AcQMap™
    3D mapping procedures.
  • First site in Europe to perform robotic ablation.
  • Limited release site for Biosense Webster Carto® nMarQ®.
  • Limited release site for Thermocool SmartTouch® SF.
  • Training centre for St Jude Medical EnSite™ Array™.
  • Limited release site for St Jude Medical EnSite™ Precision.
  • All the cardiac interventional labs have access to integrated OCT
    co registration.
  • Screening centre for Boston Scientific Sub-Q implantable
    cardioverter-defibrillators.

UHL Annual Procedure Stats

1,044 Pacemakers
208 Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD)
108 Cardiac resynchronisation therapy pacemakers (CRT-P)
186 Cardiac resynchronisation therapy defibrillators (CRT-D)
130 Transcatheter aortic valve implantations (TAVI) both apical and trans-femoral
3,500+ Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI)

New Asteral Select contract with Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Asteral is pleased to announce a partnership with Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in which it will provide diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy managed equipment.

The 10-year Asteral Select contract, which has an optional 10-year extension, will include the robust management and high-quality maintenance of four linear accelerators and more than 160 radiology assets through the single point of contact Asteral Service Centre; the provision of a clinical consumables service; and a significant asset replacement programme which will see 18 new systems delivered by the end of the year.

Two fully-equipped mammography trailers have already been delivered to the Royal Derby Hospital, and several other state-of-the art clinical systems will be handed over before the end of the year. These include eight ultrasounds, a linear accelerator and associated oncology management and treatment planning systems, six x-ray systems and a gamma camera. All have been selected on a vendor-independent basis.

Derby Teaching Hospitals works to an ethos of ‘Taking Pride in Caring’, and aims to be a beacon for all that is best in 21st century healthcare. Asteral believes this contract supports that vision.

Kevin Downs, Director of Finance and Performance for the Trust, said: “We are delighted that the managed equipment service has now gone live and that staff and patients are benefitting from the investment in new technology – an investment made possible due to the financial savings achieved through a long-term partnership with the UK’s leading vendor-independent MES provider.”

Stephen Hodgson, Asteral’s Managing Director, commented: “Asteral is delighted to have Derby as our latest managed equipment service customer. We share the Trust’s vision of taking pride in the service we deliver and epitomising quality.  Our Asteral Select service is an industry-leading solution that will support Derby deliver a safe, high-performing and efficient patient service.”

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

RAD Magazine Foundation Golf Day 2015

Continuing Asteral’s proud tradition of supporting the RAD Magazine Foundation, three members of staff attended this year’s Golf Day at the Five Lakes Resort near Colchester.  The event raised over £6,300 for the Stroke Association – the leading charity in the UK changing the world for people affected by stroke through research, support and campaigns.

After registration, David Brand (Senior Commercial Manager & Associate Director – Managed Services) and Ashley Gander (UK Head of Bidding & Tactical Sales) teed-off in the 18-hole individual stableford competition.  There was also a non-golfers day, where Abbie Thompson (Project Co-ordinator) had a lesson with the resident golf pro and spent some time on the driving range.

During the three-course dinner that followed the day’s golf, George Burroughs from The Stroke Association was also presented with a cheque for £3,000 raised by Ashley and the other members of the RADley’s Runners team in this year’s Brighton Marathon.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust renews maintenance contract with Asteral

Asteral is pleased to announce that Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has renewed its Asteral Protect service for a further three years. The Asteral Protect contract for diagnostic imaging equipment, including two CT scanners, is further to the success of the previous three-year service which began in June 2012.

Asteral Protect is the ISO 9001:2008 accredited multi-vendor managed maintenance service that is designed to reduce costs and maximise equipment availability with industry-leading response and rectification times. Flexible services are available with a choice of cover levels and maintenance providers.

The Asteral Protect contract with Stockport will provide the Trust with cost savings and operational benefits including: a choice of engineering options; a single point-of-contact service centre for all service requests; guaranteed uptime; and improved detailed reporting on equipment performance.

Martin Thornton, Business Development Manager at Asteral commented: “Asteral is delighted with the renewal of this contract – it serves as testament to the success of Asteral’s Protect service, our service advancements, and new competitive pricing structure. Asteral’s range of services delivers measurable cost and efficiency savings for the management and maintenance of critical medical equipment. Hospitals are able to make significant savings on their non-pay spend and remodel the way they purchase and implement the maintenance of their medical equipment, achieving improved uptime performance and, in turn, better productivity.”