PFI hospitals pass tests for cleaning + catering

Conference comment: When the last Government embarked on its PFI programme, discussion polarised between the evangelists and the doomsayers. Supporters were convinced that private sector discipline would cut the running costs of buildings. Sceptics feared the price of profit would be declining quality.

Posted: 24 Sep 2010


Could GP commissioning save the planet?

Conference comment: The arguments in favour of care closer to home are many – not least to achieve higher quality of care plus improved efficiency and cost saving. There is also the carbon-reduction dividend.

Posted: 24 Sep 2010


Assess infection risks when designing new facilities

We’ve just completed research showing a major problem about healthcare associated infection (HCAI). The work gathered evidence demonstrating links between design and cross-infection. So, for example, the location and height of wash hand basins makes a big difference to patient and staff use. Likewise, good staff changing facilities are vital – it’s not helpful if there are no dedicated places for staff to change in the ward and for them then to treat patients. Likewise, it is a problem if they do not change, go home on the bus and potentially put the community at risk.

Posted: 24 Sep 2010


The new lottery in stroke care

In the recent past there was a postcode lottery in stroke care. People who have had a stroke need to receive thrombolysis drugs within a vital ‘three hour window’ for effective treatment. But their chances of such treatment depended on whether the nearest hospital was one of the few to offer it. They often paid the price in disability – and the NHS picked up the costs for long-term rehabilitation and care.

Posted: 20 Sep 2010


The NHS estate dilemma - too much old, too much new

As the Government’s Spending Review, due on October 20, takes a hard look at the NHS, our healthcare infrastructure faces a paradox. On the one hand, we have lots of new hospitals - perhaps more than we need, given the trend to shift care from hospital to home and community.

Posted: 17 Sep 2010


Curtains, basins and the spread of MRSA

Hospitals are spending considerable sums earmarked by the Government for tackling healthcare associated infection (HCAI) Extra wash hand basins have been on most ‘must-have’ lists. That makes sense. But, at HaCIRIC, we suspect that some of these improvements are being undermined by the use of curtains on wards to offer privacy to patients.

Posted: 16 Sep 2010


Sorting out pills is key to fast hospital throughput

How many people every day find themselves stuck on hospital wards for hours because the pills they require before going home aren’t ready? It must be thousands. Typically, the patient wants to go home. A relative or friend may be frustrated, waiting to collect them, missing time at work and clocking up charges in the hospital car park. And, of course, clinicians need the bed for others.

Posted: 16 Sep 2010