Improving Essential Equipment in Overseas Territories Programme Update – Health and Social Care

In November 2022, it was announced that St Helena would receive funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) bespoke 2022/2023 Improving Essential Equipment in Overseas Territories’ Programme.

St Helena was allocated up to £1,800,000 for the purchase of equipment of critical importance to the island. This was in areas including healthcare, emergency services, port operations, road maintenance and the airport.

Focus on the Health and Social Care Portfolio

A total of £797,159.48 was allocated to the Health and Social Care Portfolio. This was used to purchase:

  • Cardiac equipment
  • Biochemistry analyser
  • Haematology analyser
  • Haemoglobin A1c analyser
  • FibroScan 530 Compact and M probe
  • Immunoassay analyser
  • Blood culture analyser
  • CT Scanner (and servicing contract)
  • Portable ultrasound

These new tools have now been installed and commissioned. They will allow medical staff to better manage illnesses on-island and reduce the need for off-island referrals. Doing so will improve the turnaround time for assessments and results, delivering better and more timely care to patients, without them needing to travel abroad.

Cardiac stress test, ECG machines, and Heartstart Intrepid Defibrillators

£138,600.74 was used to purchase a cardiac stress test, electrocardiogram (ECG) machines, and Heartstart Intrepid Defibrillators. This cardiac equipment will be used to improve early detection of heart disease and provide lifesaving care in an emergency.

Biochemistry and haematology analyser

£53,512.13 was used to purchase a biochemistry analyser and a haematology analyser. These analysers are upgrades have replaced ones previously in use which were coming to the end of their useful life.

Hemoglobin A1C analyser

£27,429.40 was used to purchase a Hemoglobin A1C analyser. This is used to diagnose and monitor persons with diabetes. Due to the increased demand for these tests, it was necessary to replace the smaller analyser with one which could cope with the rising demand.

FibroScan 530 Compact and M probe

£82,089.96 was used to purchase a FibroScan 530 Compact and M probe. This machine allows health staff to objectively monitor for liver disease, something which may not be picked up on routine biochemistry testing. This forms part of the Health Directorate’s primary prevention and treatment strategy for obesity, diabetes and alcohol dependency.

Immunoassay analyser

£46,751.30 was used to purchase an immunoassay analyser. This instrument will increase the range of tests that can be done on the island and reduce the number of tests that are sent overseas. This in turn will improve the turnaround times for patients receiving results, whilst also reducing costs.

Blood culture analyser

£24,909.88 was used to purchase a blood culture analyser. This is an automated piece of equipment which can detect sepsis in a patient at a very early stage. Positive results can be detected as early as 10 to 12 hours from onset, as opposed to the old manual method which could take 72 hours or more.

CT scanner and portable ultrasound machine

£423,866.07 was used to purchase a CT scanner and portable ultrasound machine.

The new CT scanner allows health staff to do scans of the heart (looking at the function and coronary arteries). Health staff are also able to do bone mineral density scans which look at how brittle the bone is. One of the software features also allows health staff to reduce artefacts caused by metal from prostheses or other metal structures in the body which may obscure surrounding anatomy and pathology. The scanner has significant improved functionality when compared to the previous scanner. This is due to the 64 interleaved detectors which create a 128 slice mechanism, allowing for significant radiation dose reduction, improved image quality and faster scanning time. The cost of the CT scanner also includes a servicing contract.

The portable ultrasound is a way to provide improved quality health scans for patients. The machine is smaller, more cost-effective than other traditional console ultrasound systems, and able to support patient assessments right at the point of care. Some of the benefits include being able to do the scan in any location, accelerated treatment decisions, less waiting time and the ability to deploy it in emergency situations.

#StHelena #FCDO #ImprovingEssentialEquipment #HealthEquipment


8 April 2024

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470