University Hospital Southampton strengthens breast imaging service through partnership


13-year Imaging Infrastructure Support Service partnership deal agreed with Siemens Healthcare

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) has boosted its breast imaging facilities through the 13-year Imaging Infrastructure Support Service (IISS) partnership with Siemens Healthcare.

Based on multi-vendor Managed Equipment Service (MES) principles, the IISS contract has enabled the breast imaging unit at Princess Anne Hospital and its associated mobile units to rapidly complete the transition from analogue to digital.

The department chose to install the technology it felt was most suited to its needs, including three static and three mobile MAMMOMAT Inspiration Digital Mammography systems from Siemens Healthcare.

The trust hopes to continue to increase patient throughput using the new MAMMOMAT technology and improve oncology-related diagnosis rates.

The department currently conducts more than 27,000 screening mammograms and 5,000 symptomatic biopsies a year, while providing a range of other procedures such as localisations and vacuum-assisted biopsies. As part of the department’s modernisation, it has also been able to employ new screening and diagnostic tools such as 3D tomosynthesis and share images with other departments across hospital sites via PACS.

With its three mobile units deployed across Southampton and Salisbury, plus a further three static MAMMOMAT systems in use within the breast imaging unit, a comprehensive Siemens offering has enabled the trust to benefit from synergies in technology and service. These include continuity of service across all locations, simplified staff training, operator ease of use and standardised images, coming together to enhance diagnosis and improve patient care. The isocentric rotation of the system’s detector helps with smoother positioning, whilst ‘one-click-to-image’ functionality helps to simplify patient set-up and the image reading process, with digital images being available to view instantly.

The modernisation of the trust’s breast imaging capabilities forms part of the wider IISS partnership comprising 138 systems including a range of CT, MR, angiography, digital radiography X-ray, nuclear medicine and ultrasound imaging systems. Siemens Healthcare is responsible for managing the maintenance, provision, replacement and training associated with the imaging equipment for the life of the contract, alleviating any equipment-related concerns and allowing clinicans to focus on patient care.

“The IISS partnership with Siemens Healthcare has helped to rapidly modernise the breast imaging unit and our mobile units. With an MES manager on site, decision-making processes are simplified which is important for me as a manager,” said Jayne Derham, superintendent radiographer of the breast imaging unit. “The partnership meant we had access to the latest breast screening technology very quickly. We chose to install Siemens technology and have benefited from minimal downtime, an instant boost to ease of use for radiographers and improved levels of patient comfort.”

“The partnership with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust ensures Siemens manages all equipment concerns, from selection, installation and training through to maintenance and risk management,” added Nancy West, head of business development for managed services at Siemens Healthcare.

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“We’re delighted that the breast imaging unit selected Siemens technology to modernise its services, and that the IISS has already delivered noticeable improvements for staff and patients alike. We look forward to continuing to support the department and assisting it in making the most of its advanced digital mammography systems.”