BT has signed a new contract with medical imaging specialists Sectra to provide support and maintenance for Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) in use across London.

The agreement, effective immediately, means that all 21 London acute trusts will now receive any support or maintenance for their Sectra PACS units, direct from the developer.

Previously, trusts in London received support and maintenance from the system installers, Philips, who were Sectra partners. Philips was previously the PACS sub-contractor of BT, the local service provider for London.

A BT spokesperson told E-Health Insider: “This deal means that all London PACS users, who have been using the Sectra systems for some time now, will be able to benefit from more direct knowledge from Sectra themselves, rather than Philips, who were Spectra partners. The deal was signed on 31 December and all trusts were notified on 2 January of the transition process.”

Sectra will provide dedicated support to trusts in London from a Milton Keynes office in the UK. Under the agreement, they will now be in charge of all service and maintenance to any PACS system delivered under the London Programme for IT and will be supplying additional PACS products in the near future.

Dr Torbjörn Kronander, president of Sectra Imtec, told EHI: “We will now be doing all the servicing and installations in London and are planning to extend the capabilities of the PACS systems used by the NHS in this region. Once the initial transition is complete, we will work with each trust individually to ensure they are getting the best PACS service possible, and all the changes will take about a year to complete.”

BT says the initial transition for support and maintenance has now begun and will take approximately three months to complete, and will be done with minimal disruption to services.

The transition, they say, will lead to a simpler image sharing solution and will provide BT with the opportunity to bring more technical innovations onto the system, through close collaboration with the system developers.

Sectra will be working with 25 hospitals in London, which combined perform more than 4m radiology examinations annually.

Dr Kronander added: “This agreement confirms our ability to provide timely, first-class service and support. To be chosen to take over the service responsibility of such a large group of critical radiology options is an acknowledgement to our very capable staff.”





Joe Fernandez