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Long-term partnership secures high quality radiology service for patients in Darlington & County Durham

Radiology Managed Services

Patients requiring x-rays and other scans are set to benefit from a new agreement between County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and technology company, Philips.

Radiology equipment

The contract which came into effect in October, means Philips will be responsible for ensuring radiology equipment across all of the Trust's hospital sites is well-maintained and replaced regularly so that patients benefit from some of the latest technology in the region.  

Commenting, Rob Goddard, associate director of governance, clinical specialist services care group, said, "Radiology equipment is increasingly used to diagnose and help determine treatment plans for a wide range of conditions.  Our contract with Philips covers x-ray, CT, ultrasound, mammography and nuclear medicine which uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of conditions including cancer and heart disease.  The contract will also cover the specialist radiology equipment used in cardiology. 

"Modern diagnostics can replace the need for invasive procedures, for example, there are occasions when a CT scan can replace a colonoscopy.   We're providing an additional CT scanner at University Hospital of North Durham to ensure a prompt diagnosis for patients attending as emergencies, with a suspected stroke or in other potentially life-threatening situations. 

"Radiology plays an increasingly essential role in ensuring our patients are diagnosed and treated quickly, with minimal intervention.  As a result, much of our equipment is used up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, which increases the risk of wear and tear.  This contract includes a dedicated engineer based in the Trust who will address any issues immediately, minimising the chances of disruption for our patients. An on-site operations manager will oversee the renewal programme covering over 120 items of equipment, all of which will be replaced at least once during the 14 year contract, with some items planned to be updated twice or even three times.

"This coordinated approach to both purchase and maintenance will be very cost-effective avoiding, for example, the need to go through procurement processes each time a piece of equipment is replaced.

"We're finding that the opportunity to work with this very modern equipment is also attracting highly qualified and talented radiology staff and we anticipate this will continue as we replace other equipment."

Newly appointed operations manager, John Carmichael, said, "This is an exciting opportunity for Philips to work as part of the Trust's team to ensure they have the most appropriate equipment, regardless of whether Philips is the manufacturer.  We're also working with the Trust, re-designing some changing facilities and other patient areas, within our radiology departments, to provide the best possible patient experience and maintain their privacy and dignity."



Published 26 November 2018

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital