Whittington Health NHS Trust unveils £4m radiology department

Managed service contract leads to implementation of the very-latest radiography equipment, boosting patient care

Whittington Hospital

Managed service and maintenance provider, Althea, has completed a £4m refurbishment and replacement project at Whittington Health NHS Trust’s (WH) imaging department.

The new diagnostic imaging equipment, which was updated and installed over a two-year period, includes 14 ultrasounds, a CT scanner, a fluoroscopy system, five digital X-ray rooms, two mobile x-ray machines, a digital dental X-ray unit, and a mammography unit.

Being vendor independent, Althea was able to source the equipment from a variety of different manufacturers including GE, Canon, Samsung, Siemens, Hologic and Planmeca; choosing each item specifically based on clinician and patient needs.

Included within the new equipment is the Nuclear Medicine Department, equipped with a state-of-the-art SPECT-CT scanner.

This hybrid scanner allows detection of the organ’s functional information using the SPECT camera and precise localisation of relevant areas using the CT scanner.

The amalgamation of these two diagnostic tools provides massive improvements in the quality of nuclear medicine images, resulting in higher confidence in detecting, localising and, in certain examinations, quantifying the degree of pathologic findings.

Also included are five new Samsung digital X-ray rooms and two mobile systems, all with wireless imaging detectors.

From left: Whittington Health chief executive, Siobhan Harrington; Cheryl Hill, imaging services manager; and Adrian Trinidade, operational manager for imaging cut the ribbon on the imaging suite which has undergone a £4m transformation

They are designed to raise efficiency to a whole-new level due to their streamlined operation.

The new machines come equipped with state-of-the-art technologies such as S-Detector, S-Vue & S-Align, which provides outstanding image quality to enhance patient diagnosis.

The department’s new stitching package has also enhanced the diagnostic process for spinal patients, and has provided an added dimension to improve patient management.

Through ease of use and automated positioning, patient imaging examination times are reduced, allowing a greater volume of patients to be seen in the same timeframe.

Also newly installed is a Hologic 3Dimensions mammography unit, which provides superior-resolution diagnostic breast imaging and High Definition Tomosynthesis, facilitating more-accurate diagnosis of smaller breast lesions, particularly in dense breast tissue.

The Affirm Biopsy package allows biopsies to be performed under tomography guidance, enabling faster and more-accurate sampling of micro-calcifications and wire localisation placement.

A new Siemens Definition Edge 128 Slice is one of the new pieces of equipment installed as part of the revamp

With all equipment now operational; Althea has shifted its focus to providing service support.

On the ground, its specialist team ensures ongoing maintenance and training programmes are closely managed, minimising equipment downtime, and promoting the use of these new digital technologies to maximum effect.

Helen Taylor, clinical director for acute patient access for clinical support services and women’s health at Whittington Health NHS Trust, said: “Everything we do here at Whittington Health is driven by our ambition to provide our patients with outstanding safe, compassionate and innovative care.

“The refurbishment of our imaging department, together with all of the new and more-advanced technology, is a key example of how we are delivering this vision.”

David Rolfe, UK and Ireland chief executive at Althea, added: “We have been working with the trust since 2005 and this is the second time we have completed a refurbishment and replacement project within the imaging department.

“From day one we have worked closely to evaluate the radiography needs of the trust and develop a sustainable long-term equipment replacement programme.

“The partnership guarantees that the trust’s state-of-the-art equipment will be maintained throughout the lifetime of the contract, enabling them to focus solely on patient care.”

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