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GHA and Philips announce 16-year partnership for advanced healthcare in Gibraltar

From left to right are Andrew Bannister, Customer Delivery Manager Philips UK and Ireland; Chris Rodriguez, Clinical Director of Radiology & Consultant Radiologist General Gibraltar Health Authority; Mark Leftwich, Managing Director Philips UK and Ireland; Charles Patron, Finance Director Gibraltar Health Authority; Stephen McMillan, Solutions Leader Philips UK and Ireland; Patrick Geoghegan, Director General Gibraltar Health Authority; Andrew Bonfante, General Manager Gibraltar Health Authority; Jane Robinson, District Leader South West Philips UK and Ireland; Paul Ringwald, Key Account Manager South West Philips UK and Ireland; and Monica Mir-Dyer, Radiology Services Manager Gibraltar Health Authority.

The Gibraltar Health Authority has announced a 16-year strategic partnership with Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, to deliver new advanced imaging and cardiac care at St Bernard’s Hospital, as well as upgrade and maintain existing diagnostics systems.

As part of the agreement, a new interventional cardiac suite, known as a cath lab, will commence later this year, allowing the GHA to offer a wide range of cardiology treatments in Gibraltar instead of having to send patients to Spain.

The announcement today follows major reforms initiated by the GHA last year under its ‘Reset, Restart and Recover’ plan in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan set new strategic objectives to transform the delivery of healthcare, including a focus on replacing diagnostic equipment and introducing new services.

The long-term strategic partnership with Philips initiates the start of that process, the GHA and Philips said in a joint statement.

The construction and installation of this specialist equipment will take approximately nine to 12 months and will be accompanied by a service agreement to ensure on-going maintenance of equipment.

In the joint statement, Philips and the GHA said the new services will bring sustainable benefits for patients at St Bernard’s Hospital, with developments expected to lead to more cardiac patients receiving treatment locally instead of travelling across the border to Spain.

Among the expected clinical benefits will be reduced length of hospital stays for such patients, relieving pressure on demand for hospital beds and ambulance transport services into Spain, the statement said.

The new services are also expected to improve 30-day mortality rates.

The new interventional suite will bring St Bernard’s Hospital’s services up to full operating capacity, allowing more patients to receive a range of cardiology treatments such as coronary angiography, angioplasty, catheterisation to treat artery blockages and minimally invasive replacements of heart valves.

In parallel, existing Philips systems within the hospital will be upgraded with the latest technology, including the replacement of equipment in two X-ray rooms, a Fluoroscopy room for real-time moving X-ray imagery, Image Intensifiers and Ultrasounds.

Hospital staff will also be able to utilise a new CT scanner, which is being installed in the first year of the agreement, alongside the existing CT.

The additional scanner will reduce down-time and delays in diagnostics while creating opportunities for St Bernard’s cardiology and radiology teams to further expand services.

This could see the Gibraltar Health Authority continue to bring care closer to home for future patients, such as through the availability of coronary CT scanning.

“This new chapter in our partnership with the Gibraltar Health Authority will give both clinicians and the community of Gibraltar access to innovative technologies beyond the next decade,” said Mark Leftwich, Managing Director for Philips UK and Ireland.

“Improving access to high-quality care, whilst creating a sustainable impact, is at the core of what we do.”

“For the first time, clinical staff will be able to manage acute cardiac diseases, such as heart attacks, in a purpose-built suite, whilst Philips Imaging Systems and Informatics will enable faster scanning time and enhanced collaboration.”

“This will help create more efficiency and capacity within the departments and improved image quality will support safer diagnosis.”

Professor Patrick Geoghegan, the Director General of the GHA, said: “We are delighted to renew and strengthen our relationship with Philips with this new partnership.”

“The impact that this new diagnostic equipment will have on our operation and on the quality of care we will be able to provide for our community is huge.”

“Gibraltar Health Authority continues to strive to provide the best healthcare to the people of Gibraltar.”
Philips strategic partnerships are long-term collaborations, delivered through a shared accountability model with joint commitment to goals, risk and performance.

The agreement announced today will see Philips become the single maintenance provider for all diagnostic equipment in Gibraltar, leveraging innovative healthcare technologies to improve patient outcomes, simplifying workflows, empowering data-led decision making and supporting the work of frontline staff through training and education.

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