Coronavirus crisis sees production capacity boosted
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting increase in demand for its nurse call systems, healthcare communications and bedhead services specialist, Static Systems Group (SSG), has boosted production capacity at its manufacturing base near Wolverhampton, and invested in the rapid development of an off-the-shelf ‘wired’ nurse call solution.
“As a UK company that has worked in partnership with the NHS for many years, we believe we should be doing all we can to support healthcare staff and improve the patients’ wellbeing during this strange and uncertain period,’ said SSG Commercial director, Chris Turner. “We are fortunate to have our own internal technical teams, and the ability to manufacture most of our products – including electronic circuit boards and enclosures – ‘in-house’, giving us greater flexibility, and the capability to adapt and respond quickly to the needs of the healthcare sector.”
To keep up with ‘unprecedented demand’, SSG has ‘completely overhauled and optimised’ its operations and manufacturing processes, and opened up additional manufacturing space to accommodate an extra production line for its wireless nurse call solution, which it says has seen ‘a ten-fold increase’ in demand. It has also adapted its working patterns, introducing extra factory shifts so it can operate seven days a week, with staff working overtime and weekends, and on recent bank holidays.
Production director, Philip Marsh, said: “Our workforce – both past and present – has always been a tight-knit community, and when word got round that we were increasing production capacity to fulfil orders in the shortest time possible, former employees with existing knowledge of our systems asked to be reinstated.”
Static Systems says these changes are enabling it to work with many hospitals ‘to meet what would ordinarily seem like impossible delivery timescales’. The COVID-19 pandemic has already seen its expertise brought in to assist on over 30 projects.
On the new product front, SSG says the development of a new, rapid-to-install, ‘wired’ nurse call system , Ultima Lite, ‘comes as a direct response to help support NHS Trusts quickly expanding their care facilities to treat COVID-19 patients.’ The full-IP and open protocol nurse call solution comes supplied as a complete system in a box, and serves up to 30 patient beds.
Commercial director, Chris Turner, explained: “We have never before witnessed such high demand for temporary and emergency ‘out-of-the-box’ hospital communication systems, and with more and more Trusts looking to recommission previously mothballed hospital wards, extend existing ward capacity, and build entirely new hospitals, demand for this type of solution is, sadly, only expected to rise.”
Ultima Lite uses industry-standard IP LAN networks as its communications platform, with power and data both delivered along a single point-to-point cable. SSG says this ‘makes it ideal both for the rapid deployment of standalone applications, and as an extension to an existing nurse call installation, where the reliability of a wired system with standard nurse call functionality is required in a hurry’.
VoIP Speech providing intercom functionality can be added for increased patient and staff isolation, along with extra call points, staff indicators, and FusionFlow functionality from the Ultima range.
To reduce cross-infection risk, patient hand units and all equipment plates buttons have a silver-based antimicrobial agent incorporated during manufacture