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First person: PFI may be dead but new tech offers opportunities

With the big healthcare PFI schemes now behind us, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the golden era was over for a nurse call specialist like Courtney-Thorne…but far from it.

There may not be any big NHS hospital new builds on the horizon, but building greater flexibility into legacy estates is high on the NHS agenda – and the kind of wireless nurse call technology Courtney-Thorne has developed will be pivotal in delivering that agenda.

“Ensuring that our customer base understands we’re in it for the long term is one of the most important elements of our commercial strategy”

The healthcare sector is facing big challenges with a rising population, changes in the types of services required and advances in healthcare technology and practice.

As a result, clinical areas, wards and out-patient facilities often need to be reconfigured. In order to maintain service levels, reduce costs and manage infection risk, those changes need to be done quickly and with as little disruption as possible.

Founded 1968

Location Headquarters in Bournemouth

Specialism Healthcare technology

Older-style, hard-wired nurse call systems mean any changes to the hospital layout require changes to the wiring.

Wireless nurse call systems, on the other hand, offer the same reliability and functionality and can also be reprogrammed to accommodate changes in layout without any disruptive works.

That’s why wireless systems were installed in so many PFI and LIFT schemes and why there is continuing growth in demand as legacy hard-wired systems are gradually being replaced by the more flexible wireless alternative.

Valuable offering

The ease of retrofit of wireless systems means we are continuing to grow as existing hospitals expand or undergo refurbishment.

Both private and public sector customers value the fact that we’re a British manufacturer with a 45-year track record in the sector too.

“Ensuring our customer base understands we’re in it for the long term is one of the most important elements of our strategy”

That longevity is really important for NHS trusts making procurement decisions, as they need to know they are investing in a nurse call system that can be rolled out consistently across a hospital and be backed by technical support and servicing throughout its service life. 

Ensuring our customer base understands we’re in it for the long term is one of the most important elements of our commercial strategy.

Among our other key strengths is the diversity of our marketplace. From large NHS hospitals, to private healthcare providers, care home groups and independent care homes, we’re servicing a growing market with scalable, adaptable technology.

Graham Vickrage is managing director of Courtney-Thorne

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