Partnership at the heart of expansion plans to revolutionise medical imaging services

Patients in Sandwell and West Birmingham will benefit from state-of-the-art imaging systems, improving clinical outcomes and enhancing patient care

A number of sites across West Birmingham and Sandwell, including the new multi-million-pound Midland Metropolitan Hospital opening in October 2018, are set to transform patient care for up to 530,000 people in the area.

A new partnership between Siemens Healthineers/Healthcare and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals (SWBH) NHS Trust will revolutionise provision of medical imaging services.

Like many healthcare providers in the UK, the trust is facing key challenges, including increasing hospital workload, budgetary pressures and a 10-15% year-on-year rise in demand for CT and MR imaging. The collaboration will help to provide the backing required to tackle these issues and create a first-class clinical environment.

“The new Midland Metropolitan Hospital is set to open in 2018 and it is essential that the imaging department is equipped with the right technology to meet our needs to prepare usfor the future,” said Dr Jonathan Benham, consultant radiologist at the trust.

“The partnership will enable both staff and patients to benefit from a well-designed clinical environment, reduced downtime and improved patient turnaround times. An investment in modern technology is an investment in our patients, who will benefit from the latest medical imaging techniques greatly.”

The Managed Equipment Service (MES) partnership includes the provision, renewal and maintenance of imaging equipment for the next 10 years, underpinned by solutions to support operational and clinical efficiency. However, it entails much more than this and represents the benefits that a collaborative approach between the NHS and a private company can bring. It provides confidence in achieving objectives, bringing together common goals and strengthening core competencies.

The collaboration plans to increase the quality of care and improve clinical outcomes for patients by ensuring innovative imaging technology and optimised workflow is in place. Siemens Healthcare will manage the key risks, operational and financial, overcoming capital limitations and issues with an ageing equipment base. The strong alliance will support the trust’s 2020 vision to become known as the best integrated care organisation in the NHS.

Tony Waite, director of finance at the trust, said: “Financial planning is very important. We strive to get the best value for money to ensure the most-efficient use of public money. We chose to work with Siemens Healthcare as the result of a competitive process during which we evaluated quality, safety and financial criteria. The outcome is a partnership which brings together our collective strengths that will work together to achieve our 2020 vision. Together we are stronger which, most importantly, is of benefit to our patients.”

Through joint collaboration, the trust will benefit from a holistic approach to healthcare, allowing it to consolidate service provision and identify operational synergies and duplication of clinical pathways and reporting. Siemens Healthcare will become part of the trust’s infrastructure, applying their own third-party insight with a deep knowledge of trust operational issues, helping to free up resource to ensure clinical staff are able to focus on their core competency of patient care. The partnership will improve and add to a range of CT, MR, ultrasound, X-ray and molecular imaging technology at a predictable and transparent level of investment.

Nancy West, head of enterprise services and solutions at Siemens Healthcare, said: “A collaborative approach between Siemens Healthcare and the trust will support ambitious plans for patient care in the area.

“As healthcare targets and budget management remain a challenge, our solutions offers a secure investment approach with measures to drive quality. We are there to support the trust in making value-based decisions on the most-suitable equipment to deliver the best-possible outcomes for patients, while also being flexible enough to cope with demand fluctuations.”

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