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FEATURE ARTICLES

‘Cognitively inclusive’ toolkit aiming to get design right

Sarah Waller CBE, an Associate Specialist at the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, and her colleague, Research assistant, Jennifer Bray, discuss the development, launch, and thinking behind a new ‘toolkit’ designed to help primary care facilities improve the physical environment for all patients – including neurodiverse individuals.

Ensuring that your laundry has a clean bill of health

While maintaining a sterile environment is aways a priority for on-premises laundries (OPLs), the importance of this factor is redoubled for healthcare estates – where eliminating the risk of cross-contamination is essential to preventing the spread of bacteria. With this in mind, Mick Christian, Training & Demonstration manager for Electrolux Professional UK & Ireland, discusses best practice, and how new technologies can help Laundry managers enhance both hygiene and productivity.

Striking Plymouth facility has an eye to the future

The striking new Royal Eye Infirmary building created off site for Derriford Hospital in Plymouth by Modern Methods of Construction specialist, MTX, opened to patients last October to meet increasing demand for eye surgery and treatment from across Devon and Cornwall. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.

Planning early for a smooth handback process

Over the next 3-4 years, a number of the earlier hospital PFI projects will come to an end, and in the next two decades, a significant further tranche will reach ‘handback’ stage. NHS Trusts with PFI-funded buildings have been advised to start preparing early – particularly by ensuring they have a clear picture of the condition of the assets soon to return to their ownership, and getting any significant defects addressed now. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, met by ‘Teams’ with Ian Daccus, Estates and Facilities Strategic Partnership director at Capita, to get his ‘take’ on the ensuing challenges and opportunities.

Firecode: what’s new, and what do I need to do?

Maz Daoud, head of Fire Safety, NHS Estates, at NHS England, who chairs IHEEM’s Fire Safety Technical Platform, discusses recent revisions to HTM 05-03, and the implications for fire safety policies and procedures across the NHS estate. Here he focuses particularly on Part B, which looks at fire detection and fire alarm systems, including the reduction of false alarm and unwanted fire signals.

Harnessing a standard ‘kit of parts’ approach pays off

Patrick Morrison, Healthcare Sector director for NG Bailey’s Engineering Division, discusses the engineering and services business’s use of Modern Methods of Construction and a standard ‘kit of parts’ approach to healthcare schemes – which enables it to deliver projects ‘in a significantly safer, better, greener, and more efficient way’ than using traditional construction methods. He draws for ‘evidence’ particularly on recent such work for the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

‘No two projects likely to be the same’ for hospital lifts

Graham Barker, a Partner and the head of Vertical Transportation at multidisciplinary engineering consultancy, Cundall, discusses some of his experience delivering lift projects in the NHS, and some of the consistent issues he has encountered, and how these can best be addressed. He also highlights the key guidance and regulatory requirements for the safe operation and maintenance of lifts in healthcare premises, the ramifications of BT’s decision to switch off the existing analogue (copper) phone line system from September 2025, and the key capital investment considerations around new or refurbished lifts.

Learnings from Sweden on designing for staff wellbeing

Without its staff, the NHS cannot function. The ‘triple whammy’ of Brexit, COVID, and over a decade of austerity, are placing even more pressure on an over-stretched healthcare system, raising more concerns about staff wellbeing. Sophie Crocker, Architect at White Arkitekter, discusses how healthcare workplace design can contribute to staff wellbeing with four examples from the Scandinavian practice’s work in Sweden.

Putting planned maintenance top of the list

A planned maintenance strategy can pay for itself, and should be a top priority, explains Craig Harding, Technical Field Service manager at HVAC specialist, Aermec UK.

Avoiding the ill-effects of poor fenestration design

Fenestration plays a key role in determining how much energy is lost through the building envelope, and with the NHS now facing a challenging task to decarbonise its estate, it’s time to take a new view on the specification process. So says Andrew Cooper, National Specification manager at Senior Architectural Systems, the UK’s largest privately-owned aluminium fenestration solutions provider, who here takes a look at some of the key things to consider.

Hard-wearing door range providing lifecycle savings

In 2023, Hampshire-headquartered doorset design and manufacturing company, Specialist Door Solutions, launched a new fire-rated lead-lined door for hospital rooms undertaking X-ray and laser procedures, received continued business from NHS Trusts across the UK, and hosted a visit from Lord Markham CBE and senior members of the New Hospital Programme (NHP) team – during which the Minister said the programme was an opportunity for suppliers to form partnerships. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, recently visited SDS to learn more about its ‘unique approach’ to door design and manufacture.

Technology’s part in enhancing clinical care

On 14 March, as part of an IHEEM North-West Branch event, members were given an exclusive pre-launch tour of what the two Company Affiliates who have jointly established the facility – MIG Medical and Dräger Medical – say is ‘a ground-breaking’ Healthcare Innovation Centre, at Union House, Altrincham. Subjects covered in the day’s accompanying presentations included technology’s part in enhancing clinical care, effective alarm management in critical care settings, a new open standard that enables connectivity across medical devices, and regulations for working at height and in confined spaces. HEJ reports.

‘Thinking outside the box’ in reducing HAIs

Thought-provoking presentations on a number of aspects of reducing healthcare-associated infections – ranging from the challenges of cleaning and decontaminating surgical instruments, to a company’s development of a range of compostable, single-use aprons made from a bio-resin – featured at a Central Sterilising Club Study Day, focused on the theme, ‘Dare to Defy the Dogma’. Louise Frampton, editor of HEJ’s sister title, The Clinical Services Journal, reports.

Transforming power supply at Vancouver Island hospital

In an article first published in Canadian Healthcare Facilities, Lisanne Naeth, P.Eng, a senior electrical engineer at AES Engineering, describes plans for a new, remotely located, electrical energy centre at Victoria General Hospital on Vancouver Island. The project will see essential electrical supply greatly improved, increase resilience, address safety issues related to the proximity of the current main electrical room to two water mains, and provide additional future site flexibility.

Minimising the cyber risks unique to hospitals

Callum Bartholomew, Operations Manager – Health Technology Integrations, at not-for-profit private health service provider, Cabrini Health Melbourne in Australia, discusses some of the major cybersecurity risks facing hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and outlines the company’s own approach to minimising the risk of so-called ‘cyberattacks’. He also suggests some of the key steps that other healthcare organisations can take to maintain the integrity and security of their own connected assets.

Sustainability in focus for IPS and cladding specialist

Via its ‘seamless integration’ of in-house manufacturing and installation capabilities, BioClad says it has not only streamlined the process, but can also ensure that quality and reliability are at the forefront of all of its extensive range of antimicrobial cladding and wall protection products, and its IPS units. Sales and Marketing Manager, Sophie Warhurst, and Business Development manager, Joshua Tattersall, report.

Ensuring cable management systems are fit for purpose

It is easy to understand why fire safety is paramount in electrical installations, but – says Paul Martin, head of Specification for Cable Management Legrand UK & Ireland – where fire rating for cable management systems is concerned, the lack of a British Standard leaves room for confusion. Here he explains how those looking after healthcare facilities can ensure that their product specification offers them peace of mind in terms both of performance in a fire situation and significantly reduced ongoing costs.

Limitations with HTMs need addressing

Ashley Morpeth, an Authorising Engineer at Eta Projects, and an experienced and qualified health and safety professional with over 15 years’ experience in the Work at Height and Confined Spaces sector, discusses some of the key reasons why he believes a number of HTM guidance documents are badly in need of updating.

Propelling the NHS to Net Zero with smart pump tech

Jason Hartigan, Specification Sales manager at Wilo UK, discusses the need to correctly specify and maintain pumps in healthcare settings, and describes a recent pump upgrade project that Wilo undertook at the Sunderland Royal Hospital.

System proves effective in combating P. aeruginosa

Horne Engineering reports on the positive reception given to its In-Line Thermal Disinfection Unit by the head of Healthcare Compliance at Skanska, who had been looking for an effective means of combating the persistent challenge of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in hospital water settings. The thermostatic controls specialist says he is now an enthusiastic champion of the technology.

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