An increased emphasis on the protection against healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) means that specifiers and facility managers for healthcare buildings are searching for the most advantageous products – products that assist with not only the protection against such bacteria, but also prevent its spread.
Areas in constant contact with visitors, patients and medical professionals can harbour harmful bacteria, such as walls and doors which can sometimes be overlooked for more obvious sites such as taps and handrails. However, it is proven that by using antibacterial door and wall protection it can prevent the growth of up to 99% of harmful microbes and bacteria in those areas.
Nuffield HealthThe Chesterfield Hospital at Nuffield Health Bristol is a newly-opened facility that is taking patient service to a new level. The £20m investment has seen the 30-bed, five-star facility benefit from three digital theatres and a critical care unit with the very latest technology.
To fulfil its rigorous patient safeguarding policy, The Chesterfield wanted to ensure its walls in high traffic areas, such as theatre corridors and waiting areas, did not harbour any harmful pathogens. However, the longevity and aesthetics of the solution were key considerations too. Ongoing maintenance costs plus the overall look, in keeping with the leading-edge clinical facility, were essential to what the Nuffield team chose as their ideal solution.
Gerri Morgan, Supplies and Facilities Manager, commented: “It was evident that we needed to do something to protect the walls of the hospital not only for aesthetic reasons but also to safeguard patients from infection. We were able to source wall protection in a variety of colours and with the added benefits of antibacterial properties too. We are delighted with the visual appearance and the practicality of the wall protection and are already looking at other areas in the hospital that could benefit from this type of investment too.”
Other hospital trusts have similar concerns, such as the team at Rotherham District General where it was not protecting its doors and walls from damage and from harbouring harmful bacteria that was the only issue but, it was to maximise its budget too.
“When there is a need to refurbish a hospital ward there are many elements which are essential components of the refit and many factors to take into consideration,” said Tony Keenan, Senior Team Leader in the estates department at the hospital. “Each department or ward will use different equipment which are at differing heights, therefore it was essential for us to choose a product that was able to work with our varying requirements.”
Impact protection sheet was used in a variety of places throughout the ward where traffic and equipment storage and usage were high. “If everything looks nice you feel nice,” concluded Tony. “But it’s not only appearance, quality protection for walls and doors also reduces maintenance costs and helps with infection control.”
Impact protection sheetSuitable for doors and walls alike, antibacterial impact protection sheet provides the perfect solution not only for unsightly or damaged walls and doors but also assists infection control, combating the spread of harmful bacteria such as C-difficile, MRSA, salmonella, listeria and E.coli. Impact protection sheet that includes Hygienilac works by an added biocidally proactive ingredient, which prevents bacteria and other microbes accessing nutrients and therefore disabling their growth. The added ingredient permeates the entire 2mm sheet so that if the surface is scratched it continues to provide protection.
It has low water solubility and is completely UV stable which ensures its effectiveness for many years, it has passed tests for severe usage and its proactive ingredient has gained approvals from renowned bodies such the Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the Food and Drug Administration.
In addition, to adhere to fire legislation, healthcare facilities should choose sheet that is class ‘O’ fire rated and tested to BS476 Parts 6 and 7.
Door protectionAs with walls, doors are another key area where harmful bacteria can harbour. They are also high-traffic zones which not only come into contact with building users and equipment but also suffer from high levels of wear and tear which can also be detrimental to a facility’s fire protection policy. Impact protection sheet can provide reinforcement for doors, their edges and frame therefore offering a long-lasting, low-maintenance solution that also helps prevent HCAIs.
Croydon University Hospital has more than 500 beds serving a local community of 360,000 people and covering a wide range of acute services. The existing hospital site is more than 50 years old and therefore has a wide range of different products installed including doors and door types.
The estates department were tasked with improving the aesthetics of the ageing estate placing particular emphasis on upgrading the fire doors, to ensure they continued to keep their fire integrity. With having over 3300 doors, the team opted for a retrofit post forming solution with impact protection sheet and edge guards which saved a staggering £3.3m over new post-formed doors. The project restored complete fire integrity to each door and gave long-term protection against damage and harmful bacteria.
Mazin Doaoud, the trust’s Fire Officer, said: “Some doors were that badly damaged they no longer retained their fire integrity. Using impact protection sheet that had been fire tested to BS476 Parts 22 meant we could upgrade and re-instate that integrity by retrofitting, whilst significantly enhancing the aesthetics too.”