InHealth trains Cath Lab team in Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps

As part of InHealth’s on-going investment in continual professional development, the Cath Lab Team at Queen’s Hospital, Burton were delighted to take part in their first intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) training, on Friday 24th May. The team were joined by Karen MacDonald, Acute Care Therapies, Maquet (who supply, service and provide training on IABP), alongside Mark Hayes, Operations Manager and Katie Towers, Ambulance Technician, from the West Midlands Ambulance Service. Using an emergency ambulance the team were able to practice the real life scenario of transferring an acutely unwell patient requiring balloon pump support from the Cath Lab onto the ambulance, for transportation to a tertiary centre for on-going treatment. Karen began the training by giving an informative talk on when and why the IABP might be used, followed by a demonstration of how it is placed – our Superintendent Radiographer, Claire Kimmett, willingly volunteered to be our ‘patient’ for this and the transfer practice! Thank you to Karen, Mark & Kate for their time and expertise. The session was well received with all the Cath Lab Team in attendance, as well as two Consultant Cardiologists and has further enhanced the capabilities of an already proficient cath lab team.

Another 1st for InHealth

We are absolutely delighted to share the news that InHealth is the first private Echo organization to have received British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) Accreditation as a Training Department, training echocardiographers in the UK. This prestigious accolade has been awarded alongside our BSE re-accreditation for Transthoracic Echocardiography. The accreditation, recognized throughout the UK and Europe, further certifies the competencies of InHealth Echo staff in the delivery of high-quality transthoracic echocardiography across the UK and cements InHealth’s credibility as a forward-thinking organisation invested in the training and development of our staff, whilst ensuring the competency of echocardiographers of the future.

Huge congratulations to Cheryl Barton (Head of Operations, Echocardiography), and all the Echo team, whose passion, drive and commitment has delivered this amazing achievement.

InHealth Accredited on NHS SBS Framework

InHealth has now been accredited to provide interim and managed service cardiac solutions through the NHS SBS (Shared Business Services) Framework. SBS is the market leader in business support services for the NHS, providing innovative finance and accounting, employment and procurement solutions, which deliver operational efficiencies, improved service quality and real cost savings for clients.

Suppliers appointed to this framework are recognised market leaders with Vendor Neutral capability, or are manufacturers focused on specific modalities and niche spend areas. Managed Service Solutions are open to both NHS organisations and the wider Public Sector, and include managed equipment, managed maintenance and full end-to-end managed services solutions.

We are delighted that this latest framework accreditation further endorses InHealth’s cardiac service expertise, robust clinical quality and operational excellence, and ability to support current NHS financial constraints.

InHealth wins British Institute of Radiology award

We are absolutely delighted to have won the 2019 British Institute of Radiology ‘Make It Better’ award for our work in making screening more accessible for women with learning disabilities.

Working in partnership with Surrey County Council Adult Social Care, Surrey & Border Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Learning Disability Liaison Service and Surrey Choices who provide a range of support services to improve the independence, confidence and life skills of those with a range of disabilities, we aimed to improve awareness and attendance of the routine NHS breast screening invitation, by spending time with women with learning disabilities, carers and support organisations to understand the barriers to women attending their appointments.

Research showed that there was a particularly low uptake of these life-saving appointments among women with learning disabilities, so by working with GP practices and specialist LD teams, we implemented a flagging system to allow for a reasonably adjusted screening offer to be made. This included introducing an Accessible Information Standard (AIS) Notice Board that was displayed on-site, offering the option of information in an ‘accessible format’, easy read step by step guides to breast screening and staff receiving tailored training. A clinical and non-clinical ‘Learning Disability Champion’ was also nominated, supported by tailored information that created a better experience with screening staff. Reasonable adjustments such as extended appointment times were also offered to ensure sufficient time and resources were made available for women. Finally, carers and care workers were provided with more knowledge about the NHS Breast Screening Programme, giving them the tools to signpost women to those who could help.

As a result, the number of women with learning disabilities who attended their appointments increased from 50% in 2016/17 to 66.7% in 2017/18 – a 15% rise in appointment uptake.

We very much look forward to the presentation of our award at the UKIO Conference in Liverpool later this year and would like to thank everyone who helped us make healthcare better for patients.

Thames Valley PET-CT services

InHealth is a leading provider of PET-CT diagnostic imaging to the NHS and we are proud to have supported NHS services for more than 20 years. Our mission is to contribute to providing outstanding care for patients and we have carried out 15,000 PET-CT scans annually, with a patient satisfaction rate of over 99% (FFT). Our highly skilled, specialist team are experts in the provision of this service and operate advanced scanners across the UK to deliver modern, efficient services for patients.

We are pleased to be the preferred bidder for expanding the PET-CT service in the Thames Valley region and hope to have the opportunity to work with the NHS to extend the service, improving access and convenience for patients and reducing travel times. Our advanced equipment delivers the highest image quality and the InHealth mobile PET-CT scanner intended to be used in the early years of the service across Thames Valley is state of the art, with a 128slice CT, where the majority of current scanners have 64 slices or less.

Any claim that our scanning services are inferior is without foundation. Patients should be reassured that our advanced equipment delivers high-quality images, and that our services are delivered as a full part of the NHS, provided to patients free of charge.

In addition, we will help manage workforce shortages by providing nationally-established NHS PET-CT ARSAC Practitioners to supplement reporting and clinical leadership for the Thames Valley region.

Our offer to provide NHS PET-CT services across the Thames Valley is based on clinical and service quality, improved patient access, investment in equipment, value for the taxpayer and an extension of services across the Thames Valley region for NHS cancer patients. We understand that there is a process to be followed in considering the future of these services in the Thames Valley and we will continue to fully engage with it, working closely and constructively with NHS England and all local NHS partners to improve access to high quality services for the local population.

InHealth is a long-experienced and well-respected NHS provider in both hospital and out-of-hospital settings. We provide tests, scans and treatments for more than 2 million people each year, the majority of these to NHS patients and service users, from more than 350 sites.

InHealth celebrates 20 years at St Peter’s Cath Lab, Surrey

April 1st saw the 20th anniversary of the InHealth Cardiac Cath lab service at St Peter’s Hospital in Surrey which was duly celebrated by staff and patients.    Congratulations to all the team past and current who have helped to bring this service from a ground-breaking first joint partnership Cardiac Cath Lab service  providing coronary angioplasty and simple pacing procedures, to the expansive facility we have today – an all-inclusive, purpose built catheterisation suite encompassing a 10 bedded day ward, two fully equipped  cath labs with direct 24/7 ambulance access for heart attack patients. Over the 20 years, advances in procedure techniques and equipment have enabled the unit to undertake a full range of procedures including complex device implantation, treatment for cardiac rhythm disorders using ablation and cryotherapy (freezing) catheters, and treatment for chronic coronary artery occlusion. In addition, the unit has managed the full patient pathway from referral and waiting list through to pre-assessment and caring for the patient on the day of their procedure.  Jackie Churchman, Clinical Lead, Interventional Cardiology, was there at the very beginning of the service from the planning stages right through to implementation, working alongside Dr David Fluck, Medical Director and Executive Lead for R&D Ashford  & St Peter’s Foundation Trust, and Dr Peter Wilkinson, Cardiologist,  Ashford & St Peter’s Foundation Trust (whose vision it was with Professor Michael Joy OBE, then Cardiologist at St Peter’s Hospital, to bring interventional cardiology to the local community).

Dr Fluck refers to Jackie’s appointment as “brilliant” and said: “I remember being interviewed on one of the local radio stations about the development – I was excited and proud of what we had achieved but the questioning centred around the involvement of a private company in NHS activity – fortunately the music has changed and now everyone recognises that we need to collaborate and use the skills that people and companies have, to deliver great care to our communities. The relationship has now been over 20 years and what has been so fantastic is that the angiography suite staff and the cardiac ward and department have always operated as one team. Over the years we have grown and developed the service and made sure that the infrastructure is modern and efficient to enable the staff to deliver great care. It has been a pleasure to work together for the last 20 years and I am sure that the collaboration and care will continue for more than 20 years to come.”

New MRI scanners for Kingston Hospital

On Saturday 6th April, two new Siemens MRI scanners were delivered to Kingston Hospital, where InHealth will be expanding the imaging service as part of our long-term contract that was awarded in 2017. Made up of three floors, InHealth’s brand new unit provides Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust with high quality facilities to deliver services to more than 14,000 patients each year. The two new scanners – a 3T Skyra and a 1.5T Aera – are located on the ground floor and took up their new, permanent residence this weekend.

This project has seen three phases since December 2017 – the first involved refurbishing the Trust’s Bernard Meade Wing to allow temporary relocation of the Trauma and Orthopaedics department, and the second to refurbish the Trauma and Orthopaedics department which the Trust moved back in to in October 2018.

This third phase focusses on improving facilities at Kingston Hospital, where InHealth has been providing services since 2009, and the final stage will be to replace the existing MRI scanner and refurbish the unit. We are delighted that these state-of-the-art scanners will continue to support the Trust to provide diagnostic imaging and look forward to seeing them welcome their first patients at the end of May 2019.

Mammography Associate Apprenticeship Programme welcomes new Education Manager

We are delighted to welcome Amy Symons who has joined our breast screening team at the Jarvis Breast Centre as Education Manager. The Centre’s Education & Training Department offers Postgraduate Education and Training to clinical staff of all grades working within the specialist field of Breast Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment, and offers 3 programmes of study in collaboration with the Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education – Kingston University and St George’s University of London.

Amy, previously Senior Lecturer in Diagnostic Radiography at Kingston and St George’s University, will provide valuable support to the new Mammography Associate Apprenticeship Programme at the Centre, which has been developed to support the delivery of the NHS Breast Screening Programme in England and address the shortage of healthcare specialists in the field of radiology, including mammography. This new higher apprenticeship will be available for mammography associates who work within a multi-disciplinary team as part of breast screening programmes, helping to meet the skills gap and providing enhanced career progression. The qualification will be delivered over a 12 to 18-month period using a flexible delivery approach.

Learn more about the Jarvis Centre’s Education & Training Programmes here

Lego Open MRI aims to reduce anxiety

Can an MRI scanner built in Lego reduce anxiety in first time, young, anxious and plus-size patients?

According to Apollo Exconde, Senior Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Radiographer it can. Apollo has created and designed an open MRI Lego piece to represent to patients the process of an MRI scan. Apollo has witnessed many nervous patients and came up with the concept to help first time, young, anxious and plus-size patients understand the different stages of what happens during an MRI scan. The Lego pieces have been designed with a wide, open view to give patients an idea of what the scanner looks like from inside and how much of their body will be positioned inside the scanner.

What is the aim of the Lego open MRI?

“My initial aim was to use the Lego open MRI when a patient arrives in our unit to demonstrate how the positioning will be, how far their head will enter and give the patient a positive impression of the machine. However, I soon realised that it would be healthier to show patients the Lego figure that it be available at the earliest possible stage so that the length of time rationalising will be minimised as whatever might be disturbing them shall be addressed at that level. This may include using the future in the clinic, point of referrer or on hospital wards.
What inspired you to create it?

“The InHealth Croydon MRI unit has three MRI machines, one of which is an open MRI scanner. I have dealt with claustrophobic, plus sized, first timers, anxious and children daily and have witnessed them not completing their scan which is a heart-breaking moment and has always left me emotionally disturbed for every cancellation. Some patients say, “Apollo bring me out!”, “Take me out!” or “I was not informed!”. From these statements, I felt a strong need to do something and make a change.

I was mentally challenged. If a patient has been referred to us to have an open MRI, it was because they have not managed to go through a conventional MRI and if they fail to do this again, this can be potentially detrimental as it will delay their clinical treatment.

I realised that it was not claustrophobia or anxiety that hinders them from having the procedure but the lack of a patient support system. Over the years, I tried developing my skills by attending courses and have researched various techniques, which unfortunately are either too expensive or impossible for a clinical set up. I have also learnt to assess patients scans and their level of fear and this inspired me to create a solution to help my patients conquer their panic whilst undergoing an MRI scan. In addition to the holistic approach, the idea of a Lego open MRI was born – to build confidence one Lego brick at a time.”

How will the Lego open MRI become a reality?

“The Lego open MRI will only become official after reaching 10,000 supporters and has passed the Lego review. I have been given one year to secure 1000 supporters and a further 6 months will be given to reach 5000 and a boost of 6 months for the 10,000 supporters.

I hope that the world will help me help those who cannot. Let’s beat scanxiety (scan anxiety), claustrophobia and build confidence one brick at a time!”

Please help Apollo to make the Lego open MRI scanner piece a reality by registering your email or social media account here.
Remember – every support we get builds one brick at a time.

5th InHealth Radiographer Reporting Study Evening

Diagnostic & Therapeutic Radiography: How do we bulletproof the profession?

The Health sector has undoubtedly faced some of its greatest challenges in 2018, this has not least been felt across radiology and in July 2018, the Secretary of State for Health laid out his 3 key priorities for Health & Social care… The Workforce, Technology & Prevention. These priorities combined are intrinsically linked to Diagnostic & Therapeutic radiography, arguably more so than in any other healthcare profession, so we have an obligation to ensure we are prepared for the challenges which await us. Undoubtedly challenge will bring change, but with change, comes opportunity and we must be ready to embrace these changes if we are to take the opportunities when they present themselves.

Our Annual South Region Study Evening asked the question; “How do we Bulletproof the profession?”. Our aim was to highlight the key priorities and how they relate to Diagnostic & Therapeutic radiography, all together, at one event. Our panel of experts and agenda included:

Charlotte Beardmore, Director of Professional Policy

Sue Webb, President of the Society & College of Radiographers – A welcome note from the President

Kevin Tucker, National Officer for Wales, SCoR – Artificial Intelligence and Radiographer Reporting: Why it is important for radiographers to be “At the discussion table”

Dawn McDonald, Consultant Breast Practitioner – “Being validated by the GMC”: A radiographer’s experience

Sheila Hassan, Project Radiographer – Intracranial Stereotactihttps://app.coschedule.com/#/calendar/219658/schedule?viewId=1817394c Radiotherapy – When Diagnostic meets Therapeutic Radiography: Strength in Numbers

Prof. Alison Leary, Professor of Healthcare Modelling – Why “Workforce Modelling” is key to delivering the Imaging & Cancer services of the future

View the full presentation here.