Specifying compliant bathing equipment

Reval Continuing Care MD, Jason Ashman, discusses the importance of only purchasing compliant water fittings for use in healthcare settings – with a particular focus on assisted bathing equipment – and sets out some of the key things that potential purchasers of such products should look out for.

Water compliance is especially important in a healthcare, hospital, or care home setting, but through our discussions with the sector it's become clear that not many understand what is required. Bringing clarity and understanding to the requirements that must be upheld can be described in a nutshell: 'Any water fitting, which when installed, will carry or receive water from the public mains water supply in the UK', must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations. These require that a water fitting should not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption, or contamination of the water supply, and must be 'of an appropriate quality and standard'.

So, how do healthcare providers ensure that they are meeting these requirements when specifying bathing apparatus and equipment? The only way is to request compliance certificates from potential suppliers when purchasing bathroom appliances. While all water fittings and associated materials must by law conform with the Water Supply Regulations 1999,1 there is no legal requirement to obtain WRAS approval; it is simply the easiest and most reliable way of demonstrating compliance. According to the Water Supply Regulations, it is down to the installer to ensure that water fittings meet the criteria. WRAS approval provides valuable peace of mind, both for you and your customers.

Healthcare providers need to be confident that the equipment they purchase is of the highest quality — to ensure reliability and service continuity while meeting stringent quality standards and legal requirements. The materials and components of construction used in assisted bathing systems must be tested and subjected to the water industry's WRAS Category 5 standard. This is to demonstrate the compliance with WRAS category 5 and BS6920.

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