Care UK expands diagnostic imaging services to UK GP commissioning consortia

15 Feb 2011

Care UK has expanded its capability to provide imaging services to GP consortia through the acquisition of an 80% stake in medical imaging company SMI Ltd.

The deal will enable Care UK to offer ultrasound, X-ray and bone density DEXA scanning in a range of settings. These could vary from small scale portable services which can move from site to site offering diagnostic clinics in community settings such as GP surgeries to, potentially, a full in-sourced radiology unit for acute NHS trusts.

SMI’s operations are a natural fit with the Care UK business which already operates eight treatment centres and over 40 primary care facilities, including GP and walk-in services, urgent care and out-of-hours services.

Care UK also runs four clinical assessment and treatment services (CATS) on behalf of the NHS — which help improve patient access to local one-stop diagnostics and treatment facilities. The addition of the SMI-developed services will make Care UK the largest provider of outsourced sonography to the NHS.

Suzanne Lawrence, Regional Director for Care UK who will be in overall charge of the new imaging service, said: “Clearly the NHS has got to find ways of delivering more, for less money, over the coming years. This will require more effective patient diagnosis and providing treatment in a way that avoids expensive hospital stays.

Care UK will be able to offer the services developed by SMI Ltd on a local basis using the very latest technology and also to offer in-sourced radiology services to NHS acute trusts. Our ambition is to help NHS commissioners develop innovative ways of providing health care which meet the needs of patients, and deliver the efficiencies that the NHS must find.”

The former founder, owner and MD of SMI Ltd, David Nicholson, will be joining the Care UK Management team as Director of Business Development, Diagnostics.

Care UK’s Managing Director — Health Care, Dr Mark Hunt said: “The future of diagnostics lies in providing patients with access to services in locations that are convenient to them and at times that reflect their lifestyle. SMI Ltd has a strong track record of delivering patient-focused services including seeing 90% of patients within two weeks of referral, and giving GPs and hospital specialists ‘same day’ access to results thanks to a sophisticated patient management system. I’m delighted with this step change in our ability to support GPs and would like to welcome David Nicholson and his team to Care UK.”


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