Peninsula Ultrasound

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Peninsula Ultrasound's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Peninsula Ultrasound is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.peninsulaultrasound.org

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | EUROFINS COUNTY PATHOLOGY LTD
Not in vein
Testing capillary blood is very attractive.
It allows people to take their own
sample without the need to go to a
clinic, avoiding the time and expense
this involves.
Theranos launched a service in the USA
in 2003 and was valued at $10 billion
before it collapsed. The company’s
collapse was down to unfulfilled
promises about its micro sampling
analyser rather than to its business
model, which has now been taken
on by other companies. One of the
companies caught up in the collapse was
Walgreens, which has now re-entered
the UK market and is operating in Boots.
We provide the testing for its service.
The main issue with capillary testing
is the quality of the samples. Some
people struggle to get enough blood,
or require multiple attempts, while
others damage the sample by using
inappropriate techniques to collect the
blood. However, this is changing.
We have been collaborating with a
company in the USA called Tasso Inc.
It has developed what is essentially a
slightly altered lancet. The device sticks
onto your arm, and when the button
is pressed, the device pricks the skin
and draws blood into a tube using a
vacuum. The process is typically painless
and can reliably collect 400 to 500uL of
good-quality blood. Version 3 will collect
1,000uL. With 200 to 250uL of the
serum this method produces, we can
perform around 20 blood tests without
pain or a requirement to visit aclinic.
The process is so painless that people
do not mind having more than one
device attached at a time, which
allows us to double or even treble the
volume collected. Initially, the Tasso
will be rolled out to the home testing
market, but there is interest from NHS
providers, who see this as a way of
avoiding the need for a patient to visit
a clinic or hospital for the procedure.
Our initial trials of a next-day service
monitoring antibiotics in patients with
cystic fibrosis at the Brompton Hospital,
in collaboration with Thriva, has proved
popular with patients and clinicians.
The samples are sent to us overnight
and are run the same day, before being
published on the Thriva website. As
more NHS clinical services move to online
platforms, it is not hard to imagine a
time when an initial consultation, a
blood test and a diagnosis will be made
without the need to leave your home.
The Tasso will
be rolled out
to the home
testing market,
but there is
interest from
NHS providers,
who see this
as a way of
avoiding the
need for a
patient to visit
a clinic or
hospital for the
procedure
Sample processing
27PENINSULA ULTRASOUND |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
Managing Director KarlSturtridge
Our staff provide
compassionate care with
dignity for NHS patients
Based in Cornwall and formed in 2008, Peninsula Ultrasound
offers the primary care sector a quick and cost-effective
diagnostic service to deliver local ultrasound examinations.
Integrated with the NHS, the images and reports Peninsula
generates can be accessed by health service clinicians up and
down the country. Managing Director Karl Sturtridge explains
that patients receive a “compassionate, seamless and efficient”
service, to ensure there is no delay in diagnosis and care.
We are a small independent company making a big difference in the region. This
is a bold statement to make, but Peninsula Ultrasound Ltd has achieved significant
impact from modest beginnings. Indeed, our first ten years of operation have
seen us grow by 28 per cent year-on-year. Previously, there had been two failed
attempts to establish an independent ultrasound provider in Cornwall. The county
is geographically challenging with limited suitable accommodation for patient
services. Peninsula Ultrasound was created to be part of the solution.
We originally started providing ultrasound scans for local GP-referred NHS patients
at just four sites across Cornwall with the combined aims of bringing diagnostic
services closer to home, giving patients a choice of appointments and delivering
innovation for the NHS. We have consistently achieved significantly lower waiting
times than other NHS providers, reduced DNA – meaning “did not attend” – rate
in comparison to the local and national average, high patient satisfaction rates and
high diagnostic report standards.
FACTS ABOUT
PENINSULA ULTRASOUND
»Managing Director:
KarlSturtridge
»Founded in 2008
»Located in Cornwall
»Services: Independent NHS
ultrasound provider
»No. of employees: 50
Peninsula Ultrasound
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | PENINSULA ULTRASOUND
Our focus has
always been
to provide a
seamless,
innovated and
integrated
service – the
best approach
for NHS
patients
Our region now extends across
Cornwall and Devon, running from
19 clinic sites, including the first
ultrasound service in the Isles of
Scilly. We now provide the majority
of NHS ultrasound scans in Cornwall,
as well as a significant proportion of
those in Devon. We have managed
to bring more convenient locations
and flexibility of appointments with
significantly shorter wait times for NHS
patients in our region.
Seamless service
Our focus from the beginning has
been to provide a seamless NHS
service, integrated into the local health
community – the best approach for
patients. There had been concern
from the local NHS trusts that our
services would undermine the local
NHS diagnostic services, but the
benefit of the scans we offer is that
they do not need to be performed in
an acute hospital setting. This enables
the NHS trusts to utilise resources for
more urgent cases or for inpatients as
opposed to bottle-necking the system
with the non-urgent cases.
We have been able to demonstrate not
only enhanced provision for patients
but have also proved to be reliable in
delivering higher standards. At our
core, we have used the innovative
approach of connecting our image
and report systems across several
NHS networks and with the local NHS
trust in Cornwall. We are the only
independent provider in the country
with this direct connectivity; we
provide a truly integrated seamless
diagnostic NHS service.
We have the ability to scan a
patient, with the images and report
immediately available across our
own secure portal as well as the NHS
hospital’s own portal, without the
need for manual transfer or entries.
This image and reporting sharing is
achievable with all NHS trusts. We are
now in the process of connecting our
image and reporting sharing with all
five NHS trusts in our region.
To achieve this level of connectivity
has not been easy. The investment and
commitment required to reach this
is considerable for a small company.
The NHS needs to have multiple layers
of security within a robust network.
We have had to gain the trust of all
the separate NHS organisation which
has been challenging. We have also
had to work with our IT supplier to
reconfigure our system software to
meet all the access and governance
requirements for connecting an
independent company without
compromising the integrity of the NHS
network. The Cornwall NHS Trust had
the foresight to work with us to deliver
this unique, seamless connectivity,
which has undoubtedly benefited
patients in Cornwall.
Driven by our staff
We have always appreciated that our
staff are key to driving forward our
patient services and standards. We
have created a positive and supportive
work environment where staff feel
valued and part of the Peninsula
Recent delivery of
the most-up-to-date
and highly-portable
ultrasound systems
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | PENINSULA ULTRASOUND
Our focus has
always been
to provide a
seamless,
innovated and
integrated
service – the
best approach
for NHS
patients
Our region now extends across
Cornwall and Devon, running from
19 clinic sites, including the first
ultrasound service in the Isles of
Scilly. We now provide the majority
of NHS ultrasound scans in Cornwall,
as well as a significant proportion of
those in Devon. We have managed
to bring more convenient locations
and flexibility of appointments with
significantly shorter wait times for NHS
patients in our region.
Seamless service
Our focus from the beginning has
been to provide a seamless NHS
service, integrated into the local health
community – the best approach for
patients. There had been concern
from the local NHS trusts that our
services would undermine the local
NHS diagnostic services, but the
benefit of the scans we offer is that
they do not need to be performed in
an acute hospital setting. This enables
the NHS trusts to utilise resources for
more urgent cases or for inpatients as
opposed to bottle-necking the system
with the non-urgent cases.
We have been able to demonstrate not
only enhanced provision for patients
but have also proved to be reliable in
delivering higher standards. At our
core, we have used the innovative
approach of connecting our image
and report systems across several
NHS networks and with the local NHS
trust in Cornwall. We are the only
independent provider in the country
with this direct connectivity; we
provide a truly integrated seamless
diagnostic NHS service.
We have the ability to scan a
patient, with the images and report
immediately available across our
own secure portal as well as the NHS
hospital’s own portal, without the
need for manual transfer or entries.
This image and reporting sharing is
achievable with all NHS trusts. We are
now in the process of connecting our
image and reporting sharing with all
five NHS trusts in our region.
To achieve this level of connectivity
has not been easy. The investment and
commitment required to reach this
is considerable for a small company.
The NHS needs to have multiple layers
of security within a robust network.
We have had to gain the trust of all
the separate NHS organisation which
has been challenging. We have also
had to work with our IT supplier to
reconfigure our system software to
meet all the access and governance
requirements for connecting an
independent company without
compromising the integrity of the NHS
network. The Cornwall NHS Trust had
the foresight to work with us to deliver
this unique, seamless connectivity,
which has undoubtedly benefited
patients in Cornwall.
Driven by our staff
We have always appreciated that our
staff are key to driving forward our
patient services and standards. We
have created a positive and supportive
work environment where staff feel
valued and part of the Peninsula
Recent delivery of
the most-up-to-date
and highly-portable
ultrasound systems
29PENINSULA ULTRASOUND |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
family. As a small company, all our
staff have access to the decision-
makers, who are close to the action
and who have an awareness of the
day-to-day operation of theservice.
Peninsula Ultrasound is an organisation
that is agile and responsive to
the needs of staff, clinicians,
commissioners and patients. This is
evident in our reputation as a positive,
supportive employer as well as in our
high retention levels of staff. Our
flexible working patterns and tailored
conditions have enabled us to retain a
loyal and motivated team, something
the NHS trusts or bigger organisations
are not always in a position to offer.
A perfect storm
The NHS has been facing a rising
demand for diagnostic ultrasound scans
for some years now, mainly due to an
increase in the availability of effective
technology that is relatively cost
efficient while being a quick-response
diagnostic tool for clinicians. At the
same time, there is a national shortage
of trained or qualified sonographers.
The current training for ultrasound
is almost universally at postgraduate
level and although there have been
attempts to bring in an undergraduate
level, this is undermined by the lack of
registration and regulation of the title
of “sonographer”. These factors are
working together to create a perfect
storm.
The SCOR ultrasound workforce UK
census of 2019 reported that 76 per cent
of NHS trusts had unfilled sonographer
posts. Peninsula Ultrasound is currently
providing training for two of its own
postgraduate students and has been
involved in delivering training for other
sonographers outside thecompany.
Collaboration and celebration
Peninsula Ultrasound has been at the
forefront of collaborative working
in the region. There is a continued
need to break down barriers between
providers and other NHS organisations.
In addition to our own contracts,
we are now working directly with
all the NHS trusts in the region
providing extended provision and
outpatientservices.
Our goal is to be an example of best
practice within NHS independent
providers as a partner that can be
trusted to deliver innovative and
quality services. We pride ourselves
on being an independent provider
with good corporate governance, and
being driven by decisions that work
together for the good of patients, the
greater health community, our staff
and theNHS.
We have always
appreciated that
our staff are key
to driving
forward our
patient services
and standards
Recent team meeting at
our head office
A staff member
explaining the
ultrasound diagnosis to a
patient at our Truro clinic

www.peninsulaultrasound.org

This article was sponsored by Peninsula Ultrasound. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development