RECENT FEATURE ARTICLES
The key role that the organisation plays as the regulatory body for the UK engineering sector, and some of the existing formal requirements for registration as an Engineering Technician, Incorporated, or Chartered Engineer, or Information and Communications Technology Technician, as well as the future of engineering education, and the need for the sector to ‘innovate to develop future engineers’, were the subject of a Healthcare Estates 2019 conference presentation by the Engineering Council’s CEO, Alasdair Coates, in October. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.
A Northern Irish NHS Trust’s efforts to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and fossil fuel usage, and increase its use of renewables, via what its Estates engineering team dub ‘an innovative multidisciplinary approach across the mediums of software, hardware, plant, design, contract analysis, and training’, were rewarded when it won the Lord Carter Innovation Award 2019 at an IHEEM event held in Westminster in mid-November. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.
With the impact of human activity on the global climate very much in the news, September’s IHEEM 2019 Regional Conference & Exhibition in Cardiff saw speakers discuss climate change’s wide-ranging impact on the operation and use of healthcare facilities – from patient comfort, internal temperatures, and staff productivity, to plant operation and building condition, as well as the healthcare estate’s contribution to carbon footprint and global warming.
‘Sustainability in the NHS’ was the title of a first day presentation by Professor Fiona Daly, Sustainability & EFM Workforce lead at NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/NHSI), in the ‘Strategy & Leadership’ steam at October’s Healthcare Estates 2019 conference in Manchester. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.
HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports on the first half of an IHEEM ‘Diversity and Equality’ roundtable held in early November at the London offices of Eta Projects, at which participants discussed topics including encouraging more people from diverse genders and black and ethnic minorities into the sector, ‘alternative routes’ into healthcare engineering, and some of the workplace experiences – good and bad – of female engineers in a still largely male-dominated sector. February’s HEJ will report on the discussion’s second half.
The Institute’s busiest and biggest Healthcare Estates conference to date, addressing skills shortages through investment in training, education, CPD, and apprenticeships, joint working with other professional engineering bodies in pursuit of common aims, and further work to strengthen IHEEM’s national and international profile, were among the topics covered by Ian Hinitt in a wide-ranging President’s Address in November
Paul Millard, Technical manager at WRAS, highlights three key plumbing material issues which he says should be considered and addressed within Water Safety Plans to maintain the water supply in hospitals and other healthcare facilities in safe and hygienic condition.
Nick Hill, FIHEEM, of independent consultancy, Water Quality London, a former chair of IHEEM’s Water Technical Platform who sits on the Institute’s Authorising Engineer (Water) Registration Board, describes the microorganisms which inhabit the drains serving washbasins in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and considers some of the alternative approaches to managing the risks they present.
Medical gas system solutions specialist, SHJ, believes many current hospital medical gas systems may be running inefficiently – potentially wasting energy, adding to electricity consumption, and increasing the likelihood of premature breakdown.
Brian Muirie, Sales director at DTGen, discusses the company’s evolution and expertise in standby power generation, explains some of the ramifications of recent environmental legislation for such plant, and explains why – with the diesel engine market ‘making every effort to introduce cleaner engines’ – the business was ‘eager to take things a step further’, and offer the UK market’s first gas standby generators.
Speaking in a keynote on the first day of October’s Healthcare Estates 2019 conference in Manchester, shortly after the director and head of Profession for NHS Estates & Facilities at NHSE/NHSI, Simon Corben, in his address, had emphasised the importance of a flexible EFM workforce willing to embrace new skills and adapt to new challenges.
The Healthcare Estates IHEEM Awards Dinner 2019 on 8 October saw some 650 guests – the highest number in the dinner’s history – celebrate the presentation of nine awards and a number of runner-up certificates, recognising achievement and excellence in categories ranging from New Build Project of the Year to Sustainable Achievement.
With patient safety a priority, NHS staff need uninterrupted access to clinical data 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Phil McEneaney, from STULZ UK, warns that a failure to understand the difference between comfort cooling and precision cooling is resulting in poorly specified equipment – ‘leading to higher costs, IT failures, and increased risk’.
Integral Engineering Design has worked alongside the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) NHS Foundation Trust in Bath on three new building projects over the past five years. Claire Thomas, a director at Integral, explains how Building Information Modelling (BIM) and 3D modelling (‘a kind of Virtual Reality’) have played a central role in the design of the buildings above ground, and, increasingly, also with the enabling works that are required when developing an existing hospital site.