County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has secured a 14-year contract with Philips to help maintain its radiology equipment.

The contract, which came into effect in October, makes Philips responsible for ensuring radiology equipment across all of the trust’s hospital sites is well-maintained and replaced regularly.

Rob Goddard, associate director of governance, clinical specialist services care group at the trust, said the contract covered a number of services including X-ray, CT, ultrasound and mammography.

The contract includes a dedicated engineer based in the trust who will address any issues immediately, hopefully minimising disruption to patients.

There will also be an on-site operations manager who will oversee the programme, which covers more than 120 items of equipment.

Goddard said: “This coordinated approach to both purchase and maintenance will be very cost-effective avoiding, for example, the need to go through procurement processes each time a piece of equipment is replaced.

“We’re finding that the opportunity to work with this very modern equipment is also attracting highly qualified and talented radiology staff and we anticipate this will continue as we replace other equipment.”

In May, County Durham became one of the first trusts to switch to a fully electronic referral service for hospital appointments.