New hospital furniture can reduce infection spread
Newly designed hospital furniture which helps to reduce the spread of infections and superbugs has go on sale to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Under the ‘Design Bugs Out’ project – a collaboration between the Department of Health (DoH) and the Design Council in the UK – designers have come up with four easy-to-clean pieces of bedside furniture.
Working with manufacturers, hospital staff, patients and clinical specialists, the designers have come up with an over bed table, commode, bedside cabinet and chair.
As well as being easier and faster to clean, the newly designed furniture is functional, visually striking and affordable.
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The furniture has undergone rigorous testing; eight NHS hospitals in the UK trailed the new pieces and it is also the first to be put through testing by an independent laboratory.
The hospital-based trials revealed the furniture was also a hit with patients, with approximately 90 percent liking the chair, table and commode and almost 80 percent approving of the bedside cabinet.
UK Health Minister Simon Burns said: “Cleanliness is vital in preventing healthcare associated infections.
“The NHS has already made significant reductions of MRSA bloodstream infections and C. difficile, but there is still room for further progress.
He added: “These four innovative and user-friendly furniture designs – now available for hospitals to buy – provide additional ways to help to reduce these infections.
“They will make it easier for staff to keep wards cleaner and help combat the spread of infections. This means keeping patients healthier, as well as saving the NHS money in the long term.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the Design Council, David Kester, also commented: “This is a great example of how design can find innovative new ways of tackling tricky problems and helping public services do better, for less.
“But it’s also a business success story – this project has generated valuable orders, created new markets and helped safeguard jobs.
“Helping manufacturers work closely with designers and healthcare staff to develop these new product innovations has delivered a win-win for patients, staff and local economies.”
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