New x-ray machine being installed - Asteral

Peterborough hits major milestone

The medical equipment solutions company Asteral has achieved a key milestone working with Peterborough City Hospital as part of its groundbreaking managed equipment services contract at the Trust.

The new £335 million City Hospital is now ramping up to go live in November this year, and Asteral has successfully installed a set of new x-ray machines in its state-of-the-art emergency centre. The equipment includes three Philips BuckyDiagnost ceiling suspensions systems which are the first of many fixed items of equipment that will be installed prior to the opening of the hospital.

In addition to the x-ray machines, Asteral has taken delivery of the first MRI scanner – a GE Signa HDxt 1.5T. Weighing 6 tonnes, it took several hours to be moved into position ahead of a further installation due shortly of an even larger 11.5 tonne 3 tesla GE Signa HDxt 3.0T.

The same Asteral team is also busy installing a range of further Toshiba diagnostic equipment ahead of the City Hospital opening later in the year.

Angela Broekhuizen, Associate Director of Projects, said “We are now just a few months away from welcoming our first patient into our new hospital so every day we are one step closer to making that transition from bricks and mortar to creating a truly wonderful hospital”. Explaining how the equipment can improve patient care, Broekhuizen said “the equipment being installed is going into the resus area in the emergency centre and will provide three separate x-ray machines for on the spot treatment of emergency and trauma cases. This will allow critically injured patients to be x-rayed without moving them from the emergency resus area.”

Asteral has worked on the City Hospital project since 2004 and has already equipped Peterborough’s City Care Centre, run by NHS Peterborough. Asteral is responsible for procuring and maintaining 135 pieces of major clinical equipment – chosen from the full range of manufacturers – as well as the maintenance of several thousand items of smaller medical equipment. The service includes initial staff training, establishing an equipment library and a 24/7 response desk. Also included in Asteral’s responsibilities are the smooth transfer and relocation of many assets from the old hospital into the new buildings.

“It is very rewarding as we start to see all the plans really come to fruition after so much coordination from different teams” says Rob Avery, Peterborough Operations Manager for Asteral. “Right now we are installing equipment from GE, Phillips and Toshiba and we have equipment from other suppliers to come. Asteral can do that because we are the only vendor-independent MES company in the UK, and that allows us to ensure that the equipment chosen meets the needs of the local population. Our top priority now is to ensure that the new hospital will be fully operational from the day it opens.”