Asteral Select delivers UK-first for UHL’s Imaging Department

On Saturday 5th November, University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) in partnership with Asteral, took delivery of a brand new, state-of-the-art MRI relocatable unit, a UK-first delivery for the Imaging Department at UHL as well as a first in the history of Asteral. This relocatable unit replaces the Trust’s old trailer via their 18 year Asteral Select contract, which has already seen a wave of replacements take place at UHL this year.

On Friday 10th February the unit was officially opened at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) by one of the Trust’s patients Luke Swain. Luke has been a patient of UHL’s since the age of nine when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Now twenty-two he has had regular MRI scans and has got to know the department and staff very well over the years. The opening ceremony saw the cutting of the ribbon, followed by a food and drinks reception attended by key members of staff from the hospital as well as some of Luke’s family. Asteral also gifted the Trust with a cake to celebrate the event.

The unit was constructed at Lamboo Mobile Medical’s factory in the Netherlands for five months and houses a Siemens MRI scanner which was delivered and partly installed in preparation of delivery. The 1.5T MAGNETOM Aera offers a more comfortable experience as well as many technological advances. The detailed images it provides can enhance diagnostic confidence – giving you one of the highest quality MRI exams available today.

The delivery to the LRI was a complicated process, managed by Lamboo Mobile Medical, a global company specialising in the engineering and manufacturing of Mobile and Modular healthcare solutions and logistics company, Westdijk Transport. The transportation of the extra-large load, which involved a ferry trip from Holland to the UK, was four metres wide and twenty metres long, but successfully made it to the outside of the Physiotherapy department at the LRI where it has taken permanent residence.

Historically, MRI system replacements can cause months of disruption to hospitals and their patient waiting lists, however, by purchasing a relocatable unit, the LRI were able to continue a normal, undisrupted service to their patients. Without onsite disruption, Lamboo worked with Asteral, Siemens Healthineers and the Trust’s Estates department to allow 90% of the installation to take place at Lamboo’s factory in the Netherlands.

The Estates team at the Trust were heavily involved with the installation process, ensuring the slab that the relocatable unit would rest on was able to support the unit. Special concrete flooring also had to be laid to ensure the unit was safe and level for scanning and could integrate with the hospital’s infrastructure.

Francesca Evans from Asteral’s Implementation team commented, “Asteral are really excited about this relocatable unit, the first on our portfolio. The collaborative working by all teams; Asteral, Lamboo, Westdijk, Siemens Healthineers and UHL has worked really well and it’s great to see all our hard work paid off now that the Trust are scanning patients.”

Rajinder Sandhu, UHL’s MRI Superintendent Radiographer commented: “This project is a culmination of months of hard work by a team of experts collaborating from across different parts of Europe. It’s a very innovative approach to increase our capacity and many other trusts are looking at using as a model going forward.”

Matthew Archer, Head of Operations for Clinical Support and Imaging at Leicester’s Hospitals, adds: “Historically, this kind of project would have caused months of disruption to our Imaging department so we are all delighted it was up and running within weeks.”

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.

RSNA 2016

RSNA is a Radiological conference that takes place each year in November in Chicago, USA and is a key date in Asteral’s event calendar which is why we have attended this meeting for the past 13 years, since the company was established.

The conference offers delegates the chance to attend an array of lectures being held by Radiologists and specialists in their field about research currently taking place in hospitals. This research is worldwide and allows different countries to receive useful insights into how far technology and clinical research is moving forward in other geographical areas around the world. As well as the lectures which take place inside the conference centre, there are two halls filled with medical equipment for delegates to explore. The most popular stands have up to four CT scanners, four MRI scanners, an interventional suite and plenty of ultrasounds on them, whilst other stands range from showing different types of contrast injectors to selling Radiology books.

The equipment stands are most beneficial to Asteral, enabling us to see first-hand the technology advances year-on-year. Asteral’s Technology team visit each original equipment manufacturer (OEM) each year, who will talk through modalities, what physical changes have been made and the technology enhancements inside each machine. Being vendor independent, we can look at the same modality over a range of OEMs and compare the technology that is being offered. This puts Asteral in a fantastic position as we can compare like for like and select the best equipment out there for our customers, as well as allowing us to maintain strong relationships with our suppliers. It also gives the chance to discuss new procurements that will be coming up and allows us to give feedback to the OEM’s on how our customers are finding their equipment. This in turn allows any improvements to be taken first hand to the research and development teams.

Pictured left to right: Stephen Glasgow, Head of Remarketing; Stephen Hodgson, UK Managing Director; Francesca Evans, Chief Technologist; Andy Jones, UK Head of Implementation and Technology; and Chris Young, Remarketing Manager. Photograph courtesy of RAD Magazine.

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.

Asteral proud to sponsor UHL Caring at its Best Awards

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust ‘Caring at its Best Awards’ took place on the evening of 29th September 2016 at The Athena, attended by almost 500 staff, volunteers and supporters including Asteral’s Senior Commercial Manager & Associate Director – Managed Services, David Brand and Leicester General Manager, Robert Mason.

The awards recognise and reward Trust staff who are inspirational and committed to colleagues and their patients. The event included awards for: ‘We treat people how we would like to be treated’, ‘We do what we say we are going to do’, ‘We focus on what matters most’ and ‘Caring at its best’ which was a publicly nominated category. The ceremony saw an overall winner selected by their external judges from the finalists of the quarterly heats from throughout the year.

The team from Ward 41, Haematology, at the Royal Infirmary, were selected as winners of ‘We are one team and we are best when we work together’ category, proudly sponsored and presented by Asteral.

A huge well done to all of the winners.

Asteral helps create synergy at HFMA’s Annual Provider Conference

Asteral enjoyed another successful show at the Healthcare Finance Management Association (HFMA) Annual Provider Conference, which took place at the Chesford Grange Hotel, Warwickshire on 7th and 8th July 2016 and had a theme of ‘Creating Synergy’.

Asteral recognises the importance of creating synergy within the NHS in order to support the radical changes it is facing as part of delivering the 5 year forward view, where it states that “Trusts will need to procure capital assets more efficiently, consider alternative methods of securing assets such as managed equipment services”. Asteral Select offers a bespoke, vendor-independent managed service with flexible arrangements to meet specific needs. Our service is proven to deliver measurable cost and efficiency savings.

Finance Directors and finance departments have a key role to play in this future, the conference hosted speakers who explained the models, shared the progress to date and featured real life case studies from those increasing effectiveness of healthcare for their populations. The exhibition allowed Asteral to interact with the delegates and showcase the beneficial features of Asteral Select.

The event saw around 35 exhibitors showcasing a range of different products and services to the 140 delegates who attended the two-day event.

The NHS England 5 Year Forward View can be found at here.

UKRC 2016

From 6th – 8th June, hundreds of the delegates attending UKRC at Liverpool’s ACC visited Asteral on Stand 61 to enjoy a coffee and talk to our sales team about Asteral’s Select and Protect services as well as MESA Direct. The show attracted 2,044 attendees, 77 exhibitors and 180 speakers, more attendees than ever and with Asteral’s stand in a prime location in the exhibition hall, the stand was constantly filled with delegates showing interest.

Our sales team were on hand to discuss how Asteral can benefit NHS Trusts, at a time when cost-savings are being relied on more than ever before.

The three-day annual event is aimed at all those involved in the field of radiological science. This was the first year it was also combined with UK Radiation Oncology (UKRO) which attracts over 300 delegates working within radiation oncology.

Jason Long, Asteral’s Business Development Director, was excited to meet new people within the Radiology community and showcase Asteral’s products. Jason commented: “Most of us working at Asteral have first-hand experience of working in Radiology and understand their requirements which is why Asteral provides both financial savings and efficiency improvements. It is always great to exhibit at UKRC, an event not to be missed in the Radiology calendar, to share with delegates how Asteral and MESA can help NHS Trusts deliver improved quality clinical services for less money.”

If you missed us at UKRC and would like to discuss how our services could help your organisation, please call us on 0118 900 8100.

HFMA Annual Conference 2015

Asteral enjoyed another successful exhibition at HFMA’s Annual Conference 2015, which took place from Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th December 2015 at the London Metropole, explaining to hundreds of delegates how managed services can help hospitals drive efficiencies and reduce costs.

The three-day conference and exhibition focused on the HFMA president’s chosen theme ‘Stronger Together’ and gave Asteral the opportunity to network with those who work with restricted budgets to suggest ways to save on procurement, management and maintenance of their critical medical equipment. These savings may be seen as having a higher importance this year after the release of Lord Carter’s NHS saving plans, where he suggested the NHS could save £1 billion through making savings in procurement.

The conference concluded in the afternoon of Friday 11th December, with the prize draw taking place at Asteral’s stand with the lucky winners receiving prizes from holiday vouchers to champagne hampers.

RSNA 2015

RSNA celebrated 100 years at the forefront of the Radiology industry this year, which brought together hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees from across the globe.

Stephen Hodgson, Stephen Glasgow, Andy Jones, Fran Evans and Carl Bowtell were among the attendees of RSNA’s 101st Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, which ran from Sunday 29th November until Friday 4th December 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Over the course of the week, 600 exhibitors showcased the latest in imaging technology and over 3000 scientific papers were presented.

RSNA is a key event in Asteral’s calendar and our attendance at the conference gives us a valuable insight into the latest technologies and developments in Radiology, as well as an awareness of product launches and market trends. RSNA also gives us second-to-none networking opportunities amongst key decision makers and gives Asteral a chance to enhance our brand recognition.