Improving the ‘health’of hospital drainage systems

A specialist in infection prevention, proactive drainage support, and research and development for new drainage solutions, discuss some of the major infection-related and other challenges caused by blocked and damaged drains. It points out that research indicates that there is a correlation between poor drainage and the number of superbug infections, with dangerous viruses, such as MRSA, C. diffcile, norovirus, and SARS, ‘growing’ in drains.

Education and training on fire door safety ‘vital

Fire doors’ importance in protecting buildings and their users continues to be ‘vastly underestimated’, particularly in older healthcare buildings, says Intastop, which recently held a fire door safety seminar at its Doncaster headquarters, with expert speakers from both the NHS and the private sector.

‘Simple’ software system boosts flushing compliance

The L8guard software system from Digital Missives has highly impressed the Estates Maintenance team at Bedford Hospital, where it has significantly increased flushing compliance. It highlights around 1,600 sinks, showers, and washbasins hospital-wide, assessed as ‘low-use’, identifies whether they have been regularly flushed, and, where necessary, prompts staff to perform flushing activity.

Taking a pragmatic ‘greener’ approach

Jonathan Waggott, of consultancy, Jonathan Waggott & Associates, a specialist in sanitary infection control issues, considers how the healthcare sector can adopt a broad range of more ‘sustainable’ practices – from using sustainable materials when building new hospitals, and implementing energy efficiency measures to cut both carbon footprint and utility costs, to a scheme where disposable shower heads and hoses are recycled into new ones.

Studies confirm impact of biophilic illusions

David Navarrete, director of Research Initiatives a Sky Factory, a leading designer of research-verified virtual skylights, discusses the cognitive mechanisms by which the company’s Luminous SkyCeilings – reportedly the only products of their kind to earn a Jury Award from an international panel of architects – reduce acute stress and patient anxiety.

Driving receipts from under-utilised space

With the way in which surplus NHS land is being redeveloped changing, Howard Williams and Paul Burley, Partners in the Healthcare team at chartered surveyors and property consultants, Montagu Evans, argue that the value of the NHS estate must be ‘protected and used to benefit the service itself – not as a political pawn to achieve other public sector objectives to the detriment of healthcare’.

Endoscopy unit takes shape on ‘challenging’ site

A new endoscopy unit which, it is anticipated, will be one of the UK’s biggest and most advanced, is now taking shape at York Hospital. On its completion in May, it will enable the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to considerably increase the number of endoscopy procedures it delivers to accommodate significantly rising demand, while simultaneously improving the efficiency of the process and patient flow.

The reality of being an AE(D) ‘at the sharp end’

Graham Stanton IEng, FIHEEM, AE(D), who spent 43 years in the Welsh Health Service, 35 of which involved specialist sterilisation and decontamination work, describes some of his more challenging experiences as an AE(D) working in hospitals, and helping staff tackle a variety of decontamination-related associated issues, during a varied and interesting career. This article is based on a presentation he gave at a Central Sterilising Club seminar in Birmingham late last year.

Greater openness and better data to aid research

The second ‘half’ of a report on an IHEEM roundtable held last November focusing on how working links between IHEEM and the wider healthcare estates management/ healthcare engineering sector, and academics working in associated fields, can be enhanced, and the resulting benefits to both ‘sides’.

Hospitals turning to latest steam trap technology

Backlog maintenance is a pressing issue for the NHS and other care providers, and for many sites the bill runs into the millions of pounds. Thermal Energy International discusses the role of steam systems, and the new technologies on offer to help hospitals minimise backlog.

‘50 years and rising’, and no plans to stop innovating

Three seasoned Rada personnel with over 50 years’ experience and knowledge in their field describe the highlights of their careers over last few decades, and look ahead to some of the forthcoming technological advances in showering and washrooms in healthcare.

Boiler hire may prove a more cost-effective choice

Carl Webb, HVAC Sales director at Andrews Sykes, discusses the importance of boiler reliability in the healthcare sector, and the implications of boiler performance ‘falling short’.

‘Business as usual’ during energy centre work

Patrick Morrison, NG Bailey’s Healthcare Sector lead, explains how its engineering division is delivering better value for hospital Trusts by undertaking major infrastructure works as a principal contractor, as demonstrated in its work creating a new energy centre for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

A better first experience for patients and visitors

A look at how a specialist in the field has deployed ‘next generation’ parking technology to greatly improve the car parking experience at the Manchester Royal Infirmary site. Visitors now enjoy ‘a stress-free’ car parking experience, thanks to a free-flow ANPR solution.

‘Outstanding disinfection without toxic chemicals’

Hagbard Eriksen, managing director at Danish Clean Water (DCW), explores the threat presented by Legionella and Pseudomonas in hospital water systems, and proposes a cost-effective disinfection system that DCW says ‘achieves outstanding and sustained results without the use of toxic chemicals’.

Reducing the aspiration risks of waterborne pathogens

Jonathan Waggott, an expert in sanitary infection control issues who runs his own consultancy, discusses the risks posed by airborne transmission of a variety of harmful pathogens from outlets such as taps, sinks, and showers, in hospitals and other healthcare premises, and some of the actions that can be taken to help mitigate these risks.

Academia and engineering – strengthening the links

The first half of a two-part report on an IHEEM roundtable in November which explored ways to improve the links and communication between healthcare estates teams and those in academia, both to help drive more efficient operation of healthcare facilities, and to increase opportunities for rigorous research into key areas of building engineering services.

VR technology informed Finnish ICU design

Tiina Yli-Karhu, Design co-ordinator at the Hospital District of South Ostrobothnia, and PhD candidate at the University of Tampere, describes in detail the process – which included the application of ‘virtual reality’ technology – used to design a new intensive care unit (ICU) at the Seinäjoki Central Hospital in Finland, the country’s first 100 per cent single-bedded such facility.

Identifying the best theatre size for different surgeries

In this article, Hiroshi Yasuhara MD, OR Medical director at The Surgical Center at the University of Tokyo Hospital, presents what he dubs ‘a universal model for estimating the appropriate size for new operating theatres’.

Managing clinical waste safely and effectively

The NHS produces up to 600,000 tonnes of waste per annum – more than 1 per cent of all domestic UK waste. The management of this waste is an essential part of the healthcare system, and yet it’s an area we rarely hear about.