RECENT FEATURE ARTICLES
The healthcare sector is facing an unprecedented set of challenges that include providing an ever higher quality of service without increasing costs. Healthcare estates and facilities management personnel are among those being tasked with ‘delivering more from less’, and are increasingly also being asked to step up their work on sustainability.
An Army-trained electrical and mechanical engineer whose father produced one of the first AGS receiving systems based on the BSRIA design commissioned by the DHSS, which was later incorporated into the British Standard, and who spent many boyhood hours turning and milling in his father’s factory, has seen his hard work, determination, and regular long hours in a 35-year career pay off.
The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust’s vision for a new standalone decontamination centre in Enfield to bring together such services from its three hospitals – some housed in ageing and cramped facilities – under one roof in one modern, well-equipped ‘supercentre’, was successfully realised last year thanks to a partnership with CFES as main contractor, and specialist equipment supplier, Getinge. Louise Frampton, editor of HEJ’s sister publication, The Clinical Services Journal, reports on the impressive new £14 m facility.
Dr Tim Sandle, a chartered biologist with a first-class honours degree in Applied Biology and a Masters degree in education, who obtained his doctorate from Keele University, and is an honorary tutor with the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Manchester, discusses some of the key considerations when choosing from the plethora of different cleaning and disinfection products available for use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
The impacts on health and wellbeing of circadian lighting in buildings are being investigated in two research projects – one completed and one ongoing – by building science centre, BRE. One compares the effects on people of a dynamic lighting system, and the other examines the biophilic refurbishment of a building, including the role of lighting.
Macy Koochek, Golnaz Rakhshan, and Barbara Budenz of Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning – which claims to be one of the world’s ‘top 100’ architecture, interior design, and planning firms – discuss how two recently completed healthcare facilities in Canada have been designed to meet the needs of populations primarily identifying as indigenous.
A clinic in South Africa’s Western Cape in an arid climactic zone that serves a local population battling for financial survival has been built with an emphasis on balancing reduced energy consumption with acceptable indoor temperatures.
Craig Smith, FIH, MRIPH, head of Corporate Affairs at ISS, and National Chair of the Hospital Caterers Association, explains how ISS Healthcare addressed the challenge of being invited to provide the overall soft FM lead at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital London in the capital’s Docklands.
Paul Kelly, director for Strategic Advisory at Mace, argues that to ease pressures on the health service, and ensure greater health equality across society, government, healthcare providers, and the private sector across the UK, will need to work more closely together, moving towards a multi-agency approach to ‘placemaking’ and the promotion of wellbeing.
Darren Laybourn, director, Strategic lead, Newcastle and Teesside, and Global head of Healthcare for construction company, Turner & Townsend, explains how a partnership approach involving close collaborative working between all the key supply chain players involved has helped mental health Trust, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, ‘transform its estate against a patient-centric vision for excellence’ over the past 14 years, in the process successfully delivering on its ambition to provide care to its service-users in truly fit-for-purpose 21st-century buildings.
A software system that automatically emails hundreds of clinical and non-clinical staff across the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s three hospitals requesting confirmation that low-use toilets, showers, and taps have been regularly flushed in line with HTM 04-01 guidance, is reducing the risk of biofilm build-up, and thus of Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonisation, with, on average, a 95-97 per cent flushing compliance.
Brian Back, HND, BEng (Hons), CEng, FIET, founder of the Zero Pollution Network – a ‘network of solution providers that aim both to tackle aquatic pollution, climate change, and sustainability issues, and to improve Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainable Governance’, who is also CEO and CTO of radio telemetry specialist, Radio Data Networks, discusses the significant health risks to patients, staff, and visitors, from blocked sewers and drains in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. He highlights some of the key technologies for detecting such issues before they become a major problem.
According to Altro, ‘recent years have seen the arguments for and against the use of biocides intensify, with some pro-biocide organisations making bolder claims than ever before’. Here Lucy Bilotto, European Marketing manager at Altro, outlines the flooring and wall cladding manufacturer’s concerns that ‘in the absence of firm evidence to support these claims’, there are concerns that these additives may be having no positive impact on infection control.
Daniel Pitcher, managing director at the Water Hygiene Centre, describes how the Wye Valley NHS Trust and its PFI partner, Sodexo, worked together to significantly improve the safe and efficient management of the water system at Hereford County Hospital, enhancing existing monitoring and review systems, and making key data available to those who require it – such as Water Safety Group members – in a more accessible format.
At a meeting last September at Chesham-based medical gas system specialist, SHJ, key personnel explained to HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, how the company is increasingly harnessing AI, IOT, and edge computing to enhance its systems to run and fault-find almost autonomously, feeding back fault data instantly should plant begin running sub-optimally, and taking remedial action to restore full performance, often without the need for human intervention.