For the first time, patients at St Bernard’s Hospital in Gibraltar will no longer need to travel abroad for treatment of acute cardiac diseases, as the Gibraltar Health Authority prepares to provide local coronary angiography and angioplasty services in a new interventional cardiac suite.
Royal Philips a global leader in health technology and the Gibraltar Health Authority, today announced they have signed a long- term strategic partnership continuing their long-standing relationship and marking ambitions to advance radiology and cardiology patient care.
As the world and healthcare industry works to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gibraltar Health Authority too has embarked in major reforms to its delivery of health services, with a plan to ‘Reset, Restart and Recover’. This plan has refocused objectives, setting out new strategic plans to make considerable transformational changes to the way the Gibraltar Health Authority operates, including a focus on the replacement and introduction of new diagnostic equipment.
The long-term strategic partnership announced today with Philips initiates the start of this transformation. As part of the agreement, the building of a brand-new interventional cardiac suite (cath lab) will commence later this year. The construction and installation of this specialist equipment will take approximately 9-12 months and will be accompanied by a service agreement to ensure on-going maintenance of equipment.
Gibraltar’s newly improved services will bring sustainable benefits for patients at St Bernard’s Hospital, with developments expected to lead to more cardiac patients receiving local treatment, instead of travelling across the border to neighbouring Spain. Expected clinical outcomes include reduced length of stays for such patients, relieving pressure on demand for hospital beds and ambulance transport services, and improvement in 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 year one, alongside the existing CT. The additional scanner will reduce down-time and delays in diagnostics whilst 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 OBE, Director General Gibraltar Health Authority 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, simplify workflows, empower data-led decision making and support the work of front- line staff through training and education.