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Press Release

Mobile Fleet Operator Sets Its Sights on European Expansion

Mary Smallbone appointed Managing Director Europe

The operator of the world's largest fleet of mobile operating theatres is targeting expansion in Europe in the wake of the ECB's plan to inject €1.1 trillion into the Eurozone.

Vanguard Healthcare has appointed Mary Smallbone to the newly-created post of Managing Director Europe and is rolling out its UK-developed healthcare technology into mainland Europe.

Smallbone, a qualified theatre nurse, ran regional sales teams for Smith & Nephew before joining Vanguard in 2003 as Director of Sales and Marketing. She added Operations to her portfolio in 2007 and has already overseen contracts for the company in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Vanguard's main business is providing mobile operating theatres and mobile wards, usually with experienced theatre staff, to NHS and private hospitals in the UK. More than 200,000 patients have been treated on its fleet of 37 mobiles which include three mobile endoscopy units.

"We are a technology partner to acute hospitals which means we provide instant additional capacity whenever it is needed", said Mary.

"Hospitals in mainland Europe have similar issues to those in the UK. Sometimes they need extra surgical capacity to tackle a backlog of elective patients or cover for an operating theatre that is being refurbished.

"We also supply overflow wards or additional clinics next to A&E departments, for example, and endoscopy units in communities to make access easier for patients.

"We have been doing this for 12 years now and are aware that there is not a similar service on the Continent so we are introducing the technology to a potentially significant market".

Vanguard Chief Executive Ian Gillespie:"We see our future as both a technology partner for the NHS as well as a pan-European support service. We have lots of experience and have already carried out some contracts in mainland Europe.

"The move by the ECB may mean more funds trickling down to national health services and as the Euro begins to regain its value we expect to be able to offer an excellent clinical support service at a competitive price.

"Mary understands our product offering better than anybody and her appointment signifies a change of gear for us in Europe.

"We are proud of the British technology that enables hospitals to flex their delivery, increase capacity and take care closer to the patient. Our successful refinancing operation last year has enabled us to further invest in our fleet and we are putting some of that investment on the road in Europe".

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