The MES (Managed Equipment Service) model is very popular, especially in Europe, but it was born and developed in the UK. Historically, the British National Health Service (NHS Trust) always owned and directly managed its own medical equipment, but, starting from 2000, the tendency to outsource management of equipment to specialised MES companies grew rapidly, especially in the fields of radiology and clinical pathology (the latter with the equipment suppliers that also provide products and consumables for tests).
The British government continued to promote the outsourcing of “no core” activities of the NHS, such as the management of high-ticket technology resources, in order to increase efficiency (such as saving ~ 20 billion GBP by 2015) and through the innovation of the medical production and quality improvement in the QIPP programme. Both aspects require thorough planning of the technological innovation process, and an accurate estimate of expenditures and of equipment usage potential.
Today, a health care facility that needs to carry out a QIPP programme can adopt an MES model, and be reassured by the results obtained by other facilities and by the possibility to tailor the service to the facility’s specific needs. Clearly, a necessary condition for the model’s success is the existence of established operating procedures and management schemes, combined with efficient and transparent management.
The Saint James Institute of Oncology in Leeds serves North and West Yorkshire and is a reference point for many national and international patients. It was built through project financing of 220 million GBP and was completed in 2007.It hosts one of the largest cancer health care centres and radiotherapy units in Europe, capable of treating over 800 new patients each month.
The Medipass Healthcare MES service at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust manages over 50 high-tech machines, including 12 linear accelerators.
The Belfast City Hospital Cancer Centre operates as a regional centre for Northern Ireland. Open to patients since 2006, it provides the full range of cancer diagnostic and treatment services. The main treatments include chemotherapy (outpatient and inpatient), radiotherapy, brachytherapy and ablation therapy.
The radiotherapy fleet within the Cancer Centre in Belfast consists of 10 linear accelerators and is the major centre for Northern Ireland, with 350 patients treated each month.
Medipass Healthcare is MES manager of technology resources of over 30 high-tech machines (radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging with a focus on cancer treatment).