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Bedford Hospital NHS Trust trials single-use washbowls to reduce infection risks

Vernacare : 15 September, 2008  (Company News)
Bedford Hospital NHS Trust has teamed up with Vernacare to reduce the risk of cross infection from the use of shared plastic washbowls.
After the success of trialling the Vernacare single-use washbowl on a selection of wards, the Trust has now introduced the innovative new pulp product throughout the hospital allowing it to throw away its plastic washbowls.

Clinical products advisor at Bedford Hospital, Pauline Totten, said: “We use macerators at the hospital rather than washer disinfectors, so plastic washbowls had to be cleaned by hand which is not the ‘gold standard’ for Infection control which we have been working to”.

“The move to single-use washbowls that can hold soap and warm water is very popular with our nursing staff. The convenience of being able to dispose of the bowl after each use saves a lot of valuable nursing time on busy wards and patients are reassured because they are offered a clean new bowl each time“.

Due to the success of the single-use bowls, the Trust is now using the complete Vernacare single-use pulp range as pulp products from a previous supplier would sometimes leak and also jam the Trust’s macerators.

Totten added: “We are working hard to eradicate any risk of cross-infection as part of our zero-tolerance approach to Infection control and it’s a strategy that is paying off. Over the past twelve months the hospital has reduced rates of C Diff infection by 58 per cent and achieved a 30 per cent reduction in cases of MRSA”.

“The introduction of this new product is just one aspect of our Infection control work but it has been a great success.”

Bedford has also replaced its stainless steel commode chairs with new ‘Vernachairs’, which combine a commode, shower and sani chair.

Totten said: “These come apart for total cleaning and this can easily be done each day. We also put them through our bed washer twice a week”.

“The other practical benefit of the ‘Vernacairs’ is that we can buy replacement parts for the chairs, so if there is any damage or wear and tear, we don’t have to buy an entire new chair.”

Bedford is a 300-bed district general hospital. As part of its best practice in infection prevention it has introduced an infection isolation ward together with more single rooms and has also reduced numbers of beds in ward bays from six to four.

Beds are cleaned in the Trust’s bed washer after each patient stay and additional domestic staff have been employed to maintain the hospital’s stringent cleaning regime.
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