Medical staff in seven NHS hospitals across Britain can focus more on patient care and less on managing equipment thanks to Asteral. The Reading company supplies, finances and manages hospital technology such as x-ray machines and scanners, and also provides maintenance and staff. Founded in 2003 by director Stephen Hodgson, the company is in the final stages of a contract to design, install and maintain the medical and diagnostic equipment for an entire acute-care hospital that is due to open next year in Peterborough. Sales grew 94% a year from £1.9m in 2006 to £14.3m in 2009. The company is owned by the investment firm Brook Henderson Group, which provided start-up funding.
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