We recently had a large medical company(GE) give a trust board presentation on service and maintenance of radiography equipment, without the knowledge of EBME or facilities management.
Does anyone think we are under threat of extinction, How do we ensure our survival?
I know some depts have already been taken over by large medical companies, but how can an EBME or Medical Physics dept really offer impartial advice if Siemens/GE/Draeger/Philips etc. are on your payslip at the end of the month??
As there will soon be a requirment for all electronics technicians to be state registered then it must follow that all external and third party maintainers must also be state registered. How do these people obtain state registration unless of course they recruit their technical staff from the NHS. Is it in our hands to refuse to work for these companies?.
Ken, how soon do you think soon is?
We have a long way to go before this is implemented or agreed, or a requirement at all. Speak to Jim Methven in Newcastle, he is leading this on our behalf via IPEM.
John, we have been there, seen it and done it. Put out to tender, big boys bidding against us. We survived, then told of merger with another Trust, of Estates Departments, including EBME, with incumbent loss of 29 posts immediately in combined new Estates.
Survived this, then a year and half ago GE did the same to us, only on the EBME equipment not Radiology. This went on with them on-site for twelve months. They have not since had a return to us as we did not renew /renegotiate with them a second time.
Watch this space for the next round of ridiculous alternatives to this scenario.
There does seem to be bright side to all this. A number of companies expressed an interest in taking over the EBME / Medical Physics at Hope Hospital. Two years on and all but Draeger have pulled out (or been eliminated). One reason for even the "short listed" companies losing interest was the fact that as part of the deal, the service provider takes on the risk associated with the equipment.
Now I think that the reason the MDA doesn't get that many reports of deaths and injury involving medical equipment is because it is relatively easy to put the blame on the patient's medical condition, rather than admit that something went wrong. I'm not saying this is common, but I'm sure it happens. (Not here - or at Hope, of course)
If some outside company, rather than the Trust was going to pick up the blame (and the bill) for equipment "failure", then I suspect there may be a few more incident reports and people like Draeger might find themselves in court rather too often for comfort.
We do have the advantage of being on the inside and benefitting from the "protection" of the Trust and our Medical colleagues !