The right medicine for infection control

Birmingham City Hospital has turned to Rada to help target improved efficiencies in infection control after detecting higher than expected rates of C. difficile in one of its former Nightingale wards. The ward, which had been an acute ward for the elderly, was deemed a hospital hot spot with more occurrences of the infection than other areas.

The decision to close and refurbish the ward allowed a total rethink in terms of infection control and prevention, as well as improved ergonomics, patient comfort and privacy. The hospital’s infection control team worked with its capital projects department to put infection control at the top of the agenda for the new ward’s design, which saw 30 of Rada’s Acu non-touch digital thermostatic mixing valves installed, replacing 13 conventional taps. Rada Sense was chosen for the ward’s shower areas.

While the remit was to specifically bring effective non-touch controlled hand-washing and showering facilities to the new ward, water management and maintenance was also seen as important. Paul Scott of the capital projects team said: “The estates department wanted to move away from old style elbow taps because of the labour intensive aspect of having to flush each tap manually.

“With Rada’s T-Logic digital intelligence controlling both the Acu and Sense products, it allows them to operate, communicate and exchange information with the mixing valves to ensure that high degrees of safety, hygiene and control are maintained.”

Testimony to the effectiveness of the revamped ward has come from the nursing staff, many of whom worked in the original ward, and whose feedback has been very positive. Dr Beryl Oppenheim, a specialist in infection control, said: “From the outset we wanted to put infection control at the very heart of the day to day running of the new ward. From our point of view the ward in its new guise has certainly raised the bar in this respect.”

In addition to the Rada Acu and Sense installations, the refurbished 25-bed unit also features floor signs in front of each hand basin with the words ‘Wash your hands’ and hand washing facilities outside the ward door.

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