Althea’s Consumable Service supports Glenfield Hospital to become one of first UK centres to offer WATCHMAN FLX™ heart implant

Althea are delighted to supply Glenfield Hospital with the latest implantable device through their Consumable Management Service (CMS). Glenfield Hospital is one of the first centres to implant Boston Scientific’s next-generation WATCHMAN FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) device following its CE-mark earlier this year.

Working closely with Boston Scientific, Althea were able to facilitate the ground-breaking procedure which took place at Glenfield Hospital, part of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (Leicester’s Hospitals). Althea supply the device, which reduces the risk of stroke in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) patients, directly from Boston Scientific and track the procedural outcome via their bespoke inventory system.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects more than 1 million people in the UK. According to clinical data, more than 90% of stroke-causing blood clots from the heart are formed in the left atrial appendage in non-valvular AF patients. WATCHMAN FLX is a permanent implant which closes the left atrial appendage in the heart to mitigate the stroke risk.

The WATCHMAN FLX implant doesn’t require open-heart surgery and is typically performed under general anaesthetic. During this key-hole procedure, the physician makes a small incision in the upper leg and inserts a flexible tube (catheter) into a vein and guides the WATCHMAN FLX device into the heart. Over time, heart tissue will grow over the implant.

Olivier Lonbois, EMEA VP and GM for Cardiology and Structural Heart, Boston Scientific EMEA said: “The WATCHMAN device has been implanted in more than 90,000 patients worldwide and we are pleased that this next-generation technology has been granted European regulatory approval so that we can offer it to patients and clinicians throughout Europe.”

Althea is the world’s largest vendor-independent managed service and maintenance provider for the acute healthcare sector and delivers a Managed Equipment Service (MES) to many UK and Ireland hospitals, which improves their technology whilst managing the day-to-day concerns of running a department. This includes maintenance and breakdowns and on-going equipment replacements throughout the term of the contract. As an integrated part of the longstanding managed service at Leicester’s Hospitals, Althea also provides a CMS and now manages all the clinical consumables and devices for nine interventional catheter laboratories across Leicester’s Hospitals and the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre.

As demonstrated here, Althea’s CMS ensures the highest quality clinical consumables and devices are provided to the Trust’s Interventional Radiology, Interventional Cardiology, and Electrophysiology suites in the right quantities at the right time. This enables Leicester’s Hospitals clinical teams to deliver compliant, sustainable, and patient centric services.

Being entirely vendor-independent ensures Althea is not tied to any one manufacturer and can offer hospitals the most clinically effective and cost efficient service for their clinical needs.