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Contents Health Business 23.5 7
DESIGN & BUILD
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www.healthbusinessuk.net Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Government announces funding to boost NHS resilience over winter The government is investing £200 million of new funding to boost NHS resilience over the coming winter. The funding comes after the prime minister and health secretary met with clinical leaders and NHS chiefs to discuss how to ease pressures in urgent and emergency care while protecting waiting list targets this winter. Prime minister Rishi Sunak, said: “Patients can be reassured that I will always back the NHS, so that those who most need help and support will get the care they need. “Winter is the most challenging time for the health service, which is why we’ve been planning for it all year - with huge government investment to fund new ambulances, beds and virtual wards. “This extra £200 million will bolster the health service during its busiest period, while protecting elective care so we can keep cutting waiting lists.” Health and social care secretary, Steve Barclay, said: “I know winter brings immense challenges for the NHS which is why we are working with health leaders to make sure we are prepared earlier. “We are working closely with trusts to see how we can continue to use technology and new ways of working to strengthen health and social services, alongside the thousands of new hospital beds and hundreds of new ambulances we are already providing. “Yesterday I heard and witnessed first-hand how all parts of the NHS are coming together to make sure it is resilient to winter pressures for years to come.”...
£30 million to be invested in innovative NHS technology The government has announced an investment of £30 million for innovative medical technology, in an attempt to reduce pressures on the NHS this winter. Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will be able to bid for a share of the fund to invest in the latest technology to cut waiting lists, speed up diagnosis and deliver new and improved ways to treat patients. The money could be spent on expanding virtual wards; wearable medical devices for patients; or on digital 3D and other imaging technology. Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay said: “It is vital that clinicians have access to the latest technology to save staff time, deliver high quality care and help cut waiting lists – one of the government’s top five priorities. “This investment will see the latest tech innovations rolled out across the NHS. From virtual ward beds to wearable medical devices, patients will be better supported, and we will ease pressures on hospitals this winter. “We’re preparing for this winter earlier than ever before including delivering thousands more hospital beds and hundreds of new ambulances.” NHS interim national director of transformation Dr Vin Diwakar said: “The NHS’s world-leading ability to adopt new technology has already helped more than 210,000 patients be treated in their own homes through the rollout of virtual wards, and this new funding will allow the health service to adopt more innovations that improve patient care and reduce pressure on wider services.” READ MORE
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Professor Sir Chris Whitty explains how data can be used to improve healthcare Chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty has written an article in The Times newspaper on how using data effectively and safely can improve patient care and bolster research. He pointed out the three purposes of data, which if done properly, can improve healthcare now or in the future. The first is for direct patient care and sharing data between different parts of the NHS and different healthcare professionals. The second is to improve the effectiveness of the NHS and the third is to collate data for medical research to improve healthcare in the future. Whitty said: “The more complete the data for all of these uses, the more effective current and future healthcare will be. By allowing the use of our data we benefit ourselves and others, but we also have an absolute expectation that these data will be kept securely, privately and only used for legitimate purposes.” He pointed out how Covid highlighted the importance of using data integrated from patients across the NHS - “The more inclusive of everyone the data are, the easier it is for the NHS to make sure its resources are used efficiently to optimise healthcare for all of us”. Whitty said: “The NHS has a responsibility to use data to improve individual patient care, its own effectiveness and support research. When we withhold our data from the NHS this can only reduce the effectiveness of care for us and others now, and medical advances for others in the future.”
Welsh Government publishes statement on RAAC in public estate Rebecca Evans MS, minister for finance and local government and Jeremy Miles MS, minister for education and Welsh language have published a statement on RAAC in the Welsh public estate. Local authorities and NHS estates have been working to carry out assessments of their property portfolios to determine whether any buildings contain reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) and ministers have been provided with regular updates. The statement says: “We have asked local authorities and other public bodies to assess the wider public estate for the presence of RAAC. We have also asked stock holding local authorities about the presence of RAAC in social housing. Registered Social Landlords have been asked to make an assessment of their stock via Community Housing Cymru. “This is a large and complex undertaking involving potentially thousands of buildings across Wales. “Ystadau Cymru, which encourages excellence in active management of the Welsh public sector estate through strategic collaboration and good practice guidance, issued a new survey to identify RAAC in public buildings following the new information about RAAC in the English school estate. “We are analysing the first stage returns as we receive them. Local authorities have, understandably, prioritised schools and housing and are taking a proportionate and cautious approach towards this issue. “As we continue to build a fuller picture of the presence of RAAC across the wider public estate, we will keep Members updated.” CONTINUE READING
Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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UKHSA and ONS launch study to gather data on Covid-19 The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have launched a study to gather data on Covid-19. The Winter COVID-19 Infection Study (WCIS) will run from November 2023 to March 2024, and will involve up to 200,000 participants. UKHSA previously commissioned the Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS), which was carried out by the ONS during the pandemic, in partnership with scientific study leads Oxford University. From April 2020 to March 2023, CIS gathered and analysed more than 11.5 million swab tests and 3 million blood tests. The new WCIS will involve up to 32,000 lateral flow tests being carried out each week, to provide key insight into the levels of COVID-19 circulating across the wider community. The sample will be broadly representative of the population according to key characteristics. The study will allow UKHSA to detect changes in the infection hospitalisation rate (IHR), which requires accurate measurement of infection levels in the community, this will then enable UKHSA to assess the potential for increased demand on health services due to changes in the way the virus is spreading, which could be driven by the arrival of any new variants. Professor Steven Riley, director general of data, analytics and surveillance at UKHSA, said: “The data we collected alongside the ONS during the pandemic provided us with a huge amount of valuable insight, so I am delighted that we are able to work together again to keep policymakers and the wider public informed in the coming months...
NHS launches charter to protect staff from harassment The NHS has launched its first-ever sexual safety charter intended to help protect staff. More support will be provided to NHS staff who have suffered harassment or inappropriate behaviour. The charter includes 10 pledges including commitments to give staff clear reporting mechanisms, training, and support. Organisations across the health sector, including royal colleges are being urged to sign up to the framework. Every NHS trust and local health system in England is also set to have a domestic abuse and sexual violence lead to support patients and staff to report incidents and access support. NHS managers that sign up to the charter will receive extra training to improve awareness and ensure allegations are appropriately investigated. Steve Russell, chief delivery officer at NHS England said: “As the biggest employer in Europe, it is right that the NHS takes a lead role in tackling sexual misconduct, violence, harassment, or abuse in the workplace. “By signing up to this charter, NHS staff will now receive more support if they have suffered any form of misconduct, while workers will also receive further training so they can help colleagues and the patients they treat. “NHS England is encouraging all healthcare organisations to sign up to its new sexual safety charter to ensure that a zero-tolerance approach is taken across the health sector”... CONTINUE READING
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UKHSA publishes winter briefing The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has set out its winter briefing, highlighting the serious impacts of flu and urging those eligible to come forward for vaccination. The announcement comes as data shows that last year’s programme prevented around 25,000 hospitalisations in England - the data also showed the flu vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalisations by two-thirds in children. The data shows that excess winter deaths from flu were higher than those from COVID-19 in the 2022 to 2023 season - more than 14,000 were recorded. All eligible groups are being urged to take up the flu and covid vaccine. Professor Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said: “Last year, the flu virus was estimated to be responsible for over 14,000 excess deaths and tens of thousands of hospitalisations, including over 10,000 in children. “Last winter the vaccine prevented an estimated 25,000 hospitalisations, but this could be even greater if all those eligible for the flu vaccine came forward this year. Pregnant women, young children and those with chronic health conditions are particularly vulnerable, and we have good evidence to suggest this year’s vaccine will offer good protection. “Taking up both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines ahead of winter provides the best level of protection against severe illness and will help ease the pressure on the NHS this winter.” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Thomas Waite said: “Flu and COVID-19 circulated last winter, causing significant peaks and resulting in thousands of hospitalisations and deaths. It is important that we are protected against both. “Vaccination is our strongest form of defence so if you are eligible, please come forward and get your jabs as soon as possible.”
Public to be consulted on the use of health data The public will be consulted on how the NHS uses their health data to improve patient care. The move is part of a series of events starting next year, which will collect public views on digital and data transformation in the NHS. The large-scale engagement events, supported by up to £2 million of funding, will provide the public with a genuine means of informing and shaping policy around the use of their health data. Topics to be discussed include the Federated Data Platform, a software platform that joins up existing NHS data to help speed up diagnosis, and reducing waiting times and hospital stays. Dr Vin Diwakar, national director of transformation at NHS England, said: “Better use of data brings huge benefits for patients, ensuring more joined-up care and better use of NHS resources, and leading to faster cancer diagnosis, shorter wait times for elective operations and reduced stays in hospital. “Public support is integral to how we better use data to improve care – and the best way to do this is through effective and meaningful engagement. Over the course of next year, we will continue to highlight how data is used across the health and care system and it is vital that we involve the public in shaping future data use and how it can save lives.” The public will be able to discuss and find out more about major programmes already outlined in the government’s Data Saves Lives strategy to help provide patients with a simpler, more meaningful choice about their data... CONTINUE READING
Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
A good overview can be crucial The Snom D8xx series of IP business phones are true allrounders! 10 freely programmable function keys offer most configuration options. The 40° freely-adjustable LCD display features: > crystal-clear colours > highest resolution (1280 x 720) > 5 inch screen > Possibility of two line indications Most other phones can not offer this! Voice quality is based on HD audio, works with advanced noise reduction, and is hearing aid compatible. And as with all our products, the D8xx series have an antibacterial surface – essential in hygienic environments. Snom – Connecting your Business
Government considering minimum service levels during strikes The government has announced it is considering introducing regulations that would require some doctors and nurses to work during strikes. The government says this is to protect patient safety. A consultation has launched which considers introducing minimum service levels (MSLs) that would cover urgent, emergency and time-critical hospital-based health services - which could cover hospital staff including nurses and doctors - and seeks views on a set of principles for setting MSLs in regulations. It will also seek evidence to inform decisions on the expansion and scope of MSLs. The news came as both junior doctors and consultants are striking at the same time. Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay said: “This week’s co-ordinated and calculated strike action will create further disruption and misery for patients and NHS colleagues. “My top priority is to protect patients and these regulations would provide a safety net for trusts and an assurance to the public that vital health services will be there when they need them. “Doctors who started their hospital training this year are receiving a 10.3 per cent pay increase, with the average junior doctor getting 8.8% and consultants are receiving a 6 per cent pay rise alongside generous reforms to their pensions, which was the BMA’s number one ask. “In the face of ongoing and escalating strike action, we will continue to take steps to protect patient safety and ensure the health service has the staff it needs to operate safely and effectively.” Professor Phil Banfield, chair of BMA council, said: “If this government was serious about patient safety, it would not have deliberately run down the health service over the last 10 years...
More top news stories from www.healthbusinessuk.net Medical school places to be expanded next year: READ MORE mRNA vaccine scientists win Nobel Prize: READ MORE Infectious disease data dashboard launched: READ MORE NHS Wales supports culture of speaking up: READ MORE All voices to be heard when creating National Care Service: READ MORE Scotland launches National Centre for rural healthcare: READ MORE WORKFORCE
New figures reveal record numbers of disabled staff on NHS boards According to new NHS data, NHS boards have more disabled members that ever before. The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) annual report shows that disabled people make up 4.8 per cent of voting members on NHS boards, up from 3.8 per cent in 2021. The report also revealed that the chance of a disabled candidate being appointed to a job in the NHS is on par with non-disabled applicants, with the relative likelihood of appointment for disabled people improving from 1.18 in 2019 to 1.08 in 2022 – where 1 represents equity of opportunity. However, it was also revealed that a third of disabled staff have experienced bullying, harassment or abuse from patients or the public, compared to more than a quarter of nondisabled staff. There has been a reduction in the proportion of disabled staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from managers, down to 17 per cent compared to 19.4 per cent in 2017. While one in four disabled staff have experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from colleagues. Dr Navina Evans, NHS England’s chief workforce, training and education officer said: “This report shows some progress has been made for staff with a disability, with greater... CONTINUE READING
Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Buildings to streamline care Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Centre for Laboratory Medicine has officially been opened by the minister of state for health and secondary care, Will Quince The pathology laboratory, which is set to serve patients across West Yorkshire, will house pathology services from Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. The regional partnership, in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT), is intended to drive innovation in testing and diagnostics. The laboratory is equipped with advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment and aims to deliver faster results for patients, irrespective of their geographical location.
Purpose-built facility At the moment, many of the pathology services provided by the Trust are delivered from outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) as well as from St James’s Hospital. The new building will bring many of the pathology service together in a purpose-built facility. Once the transition is complete, the Old Medical School will be repurposed as part of a plan to use surplus estate at the LGI to develop an innovation village which is expected to deliver up to 4,000 new jobs, more than 500 E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Building the Leeds Way This new laboratory is part of the Leeds Teaching Hospital’s “Building the Leeds Way” capital investment and improvement program. This is a long-term vision to transform healthcare facilities across Leeds Teaching Hospitals for patients and staff and also includes a state-of-the-art new hospital at Leeds General Infirmary, which will deliver a range of adult health services and be the home of Leeds Children’s Hospital. The buildings will be designed to offer patients modern, individual healthcare based on the most advanced treatments, technologies, innovation and research. Dame Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is a landmark occasion for Leeds Teaching Hospitals and is the fruition of months of hard work from our staff and partners.
Design & Build
F new homes and almost £13bn in net present value. It is hoped that consolidating the pathology services into one facility will streamline access to routine and direct testing while fostering improved working environments for staff. It will also facilitate seamless continuity and transfer of patient care across the region. Construction began in April 2022 with 338 glass panels to create windows, and 1,357 individual rainscreen cladding panels on the facade.
The buildings will be designed to offer patients modern, individual healthcare “I am incredibly proud to see that this fantastic new facility is now officially opened. Pathology plays a crucial role in the delivery of frontline care, and I am excited to see how, together with our colleagues in Calderdale and Mid Yorkshire, we can really drive innovative diagnostic testing across West Yorkshire.” She continued: “This impressive new building is a key milestone in our wider capital investment programme, as we start to progress our plans for a new hospital at the LGI. The completion of our new pathology laboratory is a catalyst for our proposed innovation village when the Old Medical School is vacated, bringing far-reaching economic benefits for the whole region.” E
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Design & Build
The centre is scheduled to become fully operational in 2024 F Sustainability The building demonstrates the Trust’s commitment to sustainability and innovation. It has been designed with flexibility and digital integration in mind, and is set to achieve highcertified standards in staff well-being and sustainability. Sustainability features include full mechanical ventilation with heat recovery systems to minimise power consumption and promote heat reuse. The laboratory will also utilise a single, shared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to enable electronic test requests, tracking, and results reporting to clinical services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Innovation The centre is scheduled to become fully operational in 2024 after the installation of equipment and technology. Health minister Will Quince said: “This new, cutting-edge pathology laboratory will serve thousands of patients across West Yorkshire – helping to deliver faster results, speed up diagnoses and cut waiting lists. “Backed by £35million of government funding, this new lab will look at more innovative ways to test and diagnose patients and will be equipped
with advanced technology and the latest equipment. Crucially, by consolidating current services into one place it will streamline access to testing and improve working environments for staff.” The opening was also attended by West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin and young scientists from Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School who took part in pathology experiments alongside staff from the trust, as part of the project’s wider community engagement programme. Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “This new centre firmly cements West Yorkshire as a global leader in health technology – it will fuel innovation in diagnostic testing and deliver better outcomes for patients worldwide. “It was inspiring to meet the staff who will pioneer these new technologies, as well as the talented high school students who could be our homegrown pathologists of the future. “With this new centre, I’m confident that Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will continue to play a vital role in our mission to build a brighter, happy West Yorkshire that works for all.” L FURTHER INFORMATION
www.leedsth.nhs.uk Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Autronica – 60 years of safety at the forefront The AutroGuard includes a wide range of fire features in one device, increasing functionality and safety while reducing wiring and installation cost
In many ways, Autronica is a Norwegian industrial adventure. It was in 1957 that four ambitious technologists, a radio repairman, a low current engineer and two radar technicians joined forces to establish the company: Autronica Fire and Security. The idea was simple, they wanted to offer smart technology and a wide product range. From the office in Trondheim, Norway, where the company is still based, they developed photocell switches, fire detection, power supply and temperature monitoring – and not least: the very first fire alarm as you know it today. Thanks to this invention, both people and assets are secured worldwide, every single day. Now, more than 60 years after the adventure began – Autronica is a leading innovator, manufacturer and supplier of fire and gas detection systems, with offices worldwide. AutroGuard – a new generation of fire detection technology AutroGuard® multicriteria protector provides a new generation technology that simplifies installation and commissioning and increases fire safety. It is more than a detector; it is a PROTECTOR. The type of operation is configurable to Heat, Optical or Multisensor, and can be delivered with an integrated sounder and/or visual alarm device – all in the same device. It has a wide range of fire safety features included in one single device, providing significant reduction of wiring and installation costs - and a cleaner look. AutroGuard® utilises DYFI3D technology which is MultiAngle/MultiWavelength detection with advanced algorithms to analyse the unique signatures for each type of fire and
nuisance source in a 3D space, enabling the protector to accurately distinguish between real fires and false alarm sources. The Self Verify® system function provides a calibrated and automatic self-test every 24 hours. It tests the signal path to the system panel, alarm devices and output units. In this way, the self-test ensures that the protector can initiate an alarm when it should, and at the correct sensitivity levels. Additionally, an advanced Pulse Response Signal analysis is run every other second, verifying 100 per cent of the components in the signal path and 99 per cent of the components in the protector. AutroGuard® provides Cover Detection as an add-on feature. We use infrared light to detect if the detector is covered by a dust cap or any other object, and a fault message will appear. For more information on the AutroGuard and other products, visit the website below. L FURTHER INFORMATION
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King’s College Hospital (Image ©Premier Modular)
Modular: for faster, cost-efficient and more sustainable healthcare buildings Pre-Manufactured Value (PMV) is becoming a driving force in the specification of volumetric modular technology in public sector projects – particularly in the healthcare sector. But Richard Hipkiss, development director for the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA) believes the government is missing a ‘trick’ by measuring ‘value’ just in terms of a financial calculation The Modular Buildings Framework is a vital agreement which provides a compliant route to access modern methods of construction (MMC). This framework includes the purchase, hire or lease of modular solutions for hospital and healthcare facilities and patient offload departments. Running from 05 July 2021 until
04 July 2025 – it is open to NHS Trusts, NHS SBS approved organisations, Local Authorities and other public sector bodies within the UK. Both permanent and temporary modular build solutions are available with preferential pricing without the need for a further complex procurement process. E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Measuring the value of PMV Without doubt Pre-Manufactured Value is a step in the right direction as the government drives to boost the uptake of modern methods of construction. As the name suggests, PMV is the financial proportion of a project’s construction cost derived through pre-manufacturing. It is a core metric for measuring the level of MMC in a project and is central to the UK government’s procurement programme.
We do not have an industrywide definition of PMV that stands up
Contractors are required to show that premanufacturing will account for at least 70 per cent of all construction costs. This essentially plays to the strength of a volumetric modular approach – so you might ask why I am questioning this? It is widely acknowledged that we do not have an industry-wide definition of PMV that stands up. It has yet to be comprehensively defined and applied. Not only does it have to be precisely and consistently calculated but also it has to be monitored to ensure fairness in the public sector procurement process. PMV as it stands is a good starting point, but I believe we need to rethink the scope and calculations used in project procurement. MMC has its origins in small scale residential housing, but is now used on major projects, from hospitals to infrastructure. It would be good to see a standard calculation tool that can be regulated and legislated. We need greater education and clarity around PMV across the wider construction industry and standardisation of how it is calculated. It is a commercial metric and rightly so as the government has to demonstrate best value, but PMV could be much more than this. One of the major benefits of pre-manufacturing and E
F Efficiency gains from modular construction The efficiency gains achieved from factory manufactured buildings support the delivery of the government’s construction and industry strategy targets, which include time and cost reductions as well as whole life benefits and inuse savings. Manufactured in controlled factory conditions and assembled on site, modular builds achieve 50-60 per cent faster delivery than traditional construction methods and can provide full turnkey solutions that are ideal for live and busy clinical environments. Modular builds also provide sustainable, greener solutions to support both the NHS and the construction industry in achieving net zero commitments.
George Eliot Hospital Ward (Image ©Wernick Group)
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George Eliot Hospital corridor (Image ©Wernick Group)
F volumetric construction is reducing embodied carbon – which leads me to my second point. I accept this is very much in its infancy and there is more work to be done but the government has an opportunity here to align construction costs with net zero targets to demonstrate economic and environmental best value. The government has set stretching net zero targets by 2050, so why is PMV’s calculated ‘value’ just in monetary terms. Of course, demonstrating value for tax payers is critically important, particularly in these times of financial hardship, but as we all strive to reduce carbon in construction, is there not an opportunity here to include economic and environmental benefits within the PMV procurement scope? Carbon calculators are now widely used throughout the offsite construction sector and these could potentially form the basis for a PMV calculation tool. I accept we have to get the financial calculations right first but by aligning financial and sustainability goals, public sector projects could expand the ‘value’ criteria. The route to net zero As an industry association, it is one of our objectives to demonstrate how the route
The benefits of volumetric manufactured buildings begin in the factory to net zero could follow many different paths. It is now established that volumetric modular approaches reduce build times by an impressive 50-60 per cent whilst increasing quality, productivity and safety. But what is not so widely understood is that compared to traditionally built projects, it is easier to control energy use in factory settings than in an open construction site. On average 67 per cent less energy is required to produce a volumetric manufactured building and up to 50 per cent less time is spent onsite, resulting in up to 90% fewer vehicle movements which is less disruptive and reduces carbon emissions. Not only is the actual construction of the building ‘greener’ but volumetric manufactured buildings are more energy efficient – reducing primary energy requirements and in-use operational emissions during the lifetime of the building. Energy costs are now not only having a major impact on household budgets but also NHS Estate resources. There is significant evidence that traditionally constructed buildings do not produce structures that perform as well as design expectations and there is a great void between anticipated and actual in-use performance. Findings from E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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About MPBA The Modular and Portable Building Association plays a key role in supporting all sections of the industry. Leading best practice principles, the
The benefits of volumetric manufactured buildings begin in the factory
F studies such as PROBE (Post Occupancy Review of Buildings and their Engineering) reveal that actual energy consumption in buildings is often as much as twice of that predicted at the design stage. The benefits of volumetric manufactured buildings begin in the factory, continue on to the construction site and last through the lifetime of the building. We understand the challenges facing healthcare providers – from changing patient demographics, new medical technologies and treatment strategies, the Covid-19 pandemic and highly constrained budgets, to increasing demands for carbon and waste reductions. We have a proud legacy of innovation and many of our members in the volumetric modular and portable building sectors are setting out road maps to deliver structures that will be highly energy efficient and net zero in operation.
association is represented on many committees for the benefit of members. Most importantly, the MPBA ensure evolving government policies and decisions are not made on behalf of the construction industry without due consideration for the impact they may have on the volumetric modular sector. Many MPBA members are accredited under a number of modular building frameworks, including NHS Shared Business Services Framework, LHC, Crown Commercial Service, NHS Commercial Solutions and the Modular Buildings Framework. These frameworks help NHS trusts and other public sector clients improve the speed and cost-efficiency of procurement to support world-class patient care. L FURTHER INFORMATION
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh’s Simpson Birthing Centre (Image ©Premier Modular)
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Healthcare Estates 2023 There is still time to book your place at Healthcare Estates Conference or to register for the exhibition at the flagship event of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering & Estates Management (IHEEM), which opens on 10 October 2023 at Manchester Central This CPD-accredited event is the UK’s largest for the healthcare engineering and EFM sector. Healthcare Estates provides two days of highvalue learning, networking, and business development opportunity, with a line-up of over 50 conference speakers, more than 200 exhibitors, and much more besides. The title sponsors for 2023 are Catfoss and KWC DVS. Tickets are available from the event website – www.healthcare-estates.com. There is a choice of attendance options including a free-of-charge exhibition visitor ticket.
The IHEEM Conference: the place to hear from leading experts on the key topics impacting the healthcare EFM sector The conference programme features over 50 experts and industry leaders, providing insight, opinion and information on the critical subjects affecting the sector. Key themes on the agenda this year, and the confirmed keynote speakers on each area, are: Governance, Assurance & Compliance of the Healthcare Estate & Infrastructure - Simon Corben, director and head of profession of E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
F NHS estates and facilities - NHS England Commercial Directorate, Julie Critchley, director of NHS Scotland Assure, Procurement Commissioning and Facilities - NHS National Services Scotland, and Stuart Douglas, director (Specialist Estates Services) - NHS Wales. Implementing Digital Technology & Innovation into the Healthcare Estate Professor Billy Hare, deputy director BEAM Research Centre, School of Computing Engineering & Built Environment - Glasgow Caledonian University, and Professor Grant Mills, professor of healthcare infrastructure delivery and faculty lead for health - Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, University College London. Medical Engineering & Healthcare Engineering - Dr Manjula Meda, consultant clinical microbiologist and infection control doctor - Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Catherine Noakes, professor of environmental engineering for buildings University of Leeds. Health & Social Care Planning - Natalie Forrest, senior responsible owner - New Hospital Programme, and Suzanne MacCormick, clinical planner and global healthcare consultant. Operational Delivery of the Healthcare Estate - Fiona Daly, national deputy director of estates - NHS England, Gary Naylor, managing director- gbpartnerships manage, and Malcolm Twite, executive director property and operations - Community Health Partnerships. These themes will also be addressed by speakers from a range of influential public, commercial and academic organisations, including: NHS England; NHS Property Services;
Procure Partnerships Framework; Health and Safety Investigation Branch; New Hospitals Programme; University of Leeds; and University of Cambridge. Conference delegates can also benefit from specialist content provided by the IHEEM Technical Platforms, Working Groups and Advisory Groups: IHEEM Strategic Estate Management Advisory Platform; IHEEM Diversity & Inclusion Working Group; IHEEM Electrical Platform; IHEEM Fire Safety Technical Platform; IHEEM Ventilation Technical Platform; and IHEEM Decontamination Technical Platform The Conference will close with an address from the President of the IFHE, Steve Rees, and an appearance and talk from celebrity guest Perry McCarthy, who will share tales from his time as a Formula 1 driver and as the original “Stig” on BBC’s Top Gear. E
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the opportunity to go head-to-head on a stateof-the-art Scalextric display provided by HSL Compliance. The Healthcare Estates IHEEM Awards – nominees announced The annual Healthcare Estates IHEEM Awards will be held on the evening of 10 October at the iconic Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Manchester, and will once again recognise outstanding teams, individuals, products and projects in the healthcare sector. This year’s guest speaker is Nigel Owens MBE, the most capped referee in world rugby. Awards will be presented in twelve categories. The Awards were judged by an independent panel of experts with extensive experience and achievements within the NHS and commercial healthcare sector, with a record number of entries received and fierce competition in every category. The Apprentice of the Year category is sponsored by Troup, Bywaters + Anders, and the shortlisted nominees are: Louis Audain – Brandon Medical; Alesia Bloor – P+HS Architects; Agnieszka Brzostek – Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Olivia Hawke – North Tees and Hartlepool Solutions LLP; and James MacLeod – DSSR Consulting Engineers Harvey Smith – Royal Victoria Infirmary Estates. E
F The Healthcare Estates Exhibition – the “one stop shop” for EFM buyers and specifiers The exhibition is free to attend and is the place for healthcare engineering and EFM professionals of all levels to discover the products and services to help them meet current and future challenges, as well as to take advantage of the free learning opportunities presented by the exhibitor seminar programme. IHEEM members also benefit from access to the IHEEM Members Lounge, an informal place to relax, take some refreshment, network with other members and find out about the work the Institute is undertaking. Visitors can also meet the Head Office team at their stand and discuss the many benefits across the wide range of IHEEM membership packages. The free-of-charge exhibitor seminar programme delivers information and insights from leading suppliers to the sector, and covers five key areas: HVAC & Engineering; Infection Control & Water; Energy & Sustainability; Design & Construction; and Facilities Management. VIP visitors, speakers and conference delegates are invited to enjoy complimentary refreshments in the VIP Area sponsored by Wandsworth Healthcare and HSL Compliance, where they can also benefit from car park validation courtesy of Wandsworth Group, and
Introducing the bendable reduced-ligature curtain track The top-fix version of Yewdale’s K2500 fixed curtain track can now be bent to fit in bay windows and shower cubicles. This curtain track reduces weapons and ligature risks in mental health units, prisons and other settings.
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F The nominees in the Architectural Practice of the Year category are: Arcadis Healthcare Practice Group; BDP; LSI Architects; Medical Architecture; and P+HS Architects. The Consultancy of the Year category is sponsored by T&B Contractors and the nominees are: Curtins; DAY Project Management Ltd; EDGE PS; Healthcare Design Leadership Community Interest Company; Hive Projects; and MultiHealth Specialists Ltd. The nominees for the Diversity and Inclusion Award are: Changing Places – Vital Services, Birmingham Children’s Hospital; Land and Property Team, West Heath Hospital, Birmingham; and New Multi-faith Centre – Royal Bolton Hospital. The Estates & Facilities Champion of Champions category is sponsored by Tilbury Douglas and the nominees are: Belfast Trust Estates Validation and Assurance Team; Dawn Clarke – office and helpdesk manager, Birmingham Community Health Care Trust; and Sophie Williams – training & development Coordinator at WWL Teaching Hospitals NHS FT SSDU. The Estates & Facilities Team of the Year award shortlist is made up of: iFM Bolton Ltd; Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) – Estates and Facilities Team; Liverpool University Hospitals Division of Estates and Facilities; and Mitie at University College Hospital London. The nominees in the category of Healthcare Supplier of the Year are: BeaconMedaes; Healthcare Design Leadership Community Interest Company; MIG Medical; and Mitie. The New Build Project of the Year category nominees are: “Concept Ward” for James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Health Spaces; Great Western Hospital, Swindon, Urgent Treatment Centre – Gilling Dod Architects; Hull Royal Infirmary New Main Entrance – Race Cottam Associates; Onyx Ward
– Autism Low Secure Unit, Brooklands Hospital – CPW et al; The Abbey Centre, Camden – Wates Group et al; and The Royal Marsden Hospital, Oak Cancer Centre – BDP et al. The nominees for Product Innovation of the Year are: Air Handling Systems – “AIR-HTM” Cabinet AHU; Medclair & BeaconMedaes – Central Destruction Unit (CDU) & Anaesthetic Gas Scavenging System (AGSS); and Siemens – HiMed Patient Terminal Solution. The shortlist for Refurbishment Project of the Year comprises: CAMHS Stockport – FWP; Child Development Unit, Elland – AFL Architects; Community Diagnostic Centre – Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Southmead Hospital Conversion – North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) & PFI partners; The Global Mercy Ship; and MIG Medical Ultrasound Room at Birmingham Children’s Hospital – Vital Services. The Staff Wellbeing Initiative of the Year nominees are: Biophilic Wales: Inspiring Spaces – Swansea Bay University Health Board; PW3 Agile Working and Staff Welfare Project – Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT Capital Team; and Staff Roof Garden – Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton. Finally, the Sustainable Achievement award is sponsored by Siemens and the shortlisted nominees are: Biophilic Wales: Inspiring Spaces – Swansea Bay University Health Board; Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Sustainability, Energy and Waste Team; Mitie at UCLH; Nitrous Cracking – Newcastle Hospitals Estates & Sustainability Teams; and Refurbishment of Aintree University Hospital Tower Block. Winners’ names will be published on the event website after the event.L FURTHER INFORMATION
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Reaping the benefits of solar When it comes to energy, one of the best things you can do for the planet and the public purse is installing solar panels on your organisation’s property Solar panels offer many benefits, and can be installed on many buildings, big or small. Hospitals tend to have large sites and so are great places to install solar panels. Car parks are another option – they can be installed on the roof of a multistorey car park or structures can be built over traditional open air car parks to accommodate solar panels. Cost Solar panels generate electricity from the sun – so the energy is essentially free. Installing your
own solar panels reduces reliance on expensive energy from the grid. Over time, solar panels end up paying for themselves and represent significant savings on energy bills. This money can then be spent elsewhere, for example maintenance and infrastructure improvements or on the day-to-day running costs – which can then in turn lead to improved facilities and better care for the community. Solar panels represent a long-term investment. They have a long lifespan of 25 years or more. The initial cost investment results in stable E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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Net Zero The electricity produced by solar panels is clean and renewable and does not emit greenhouse gases or pollutants. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, buildings with solar panels contribute to lower carbon emissions and help combat climate change. This is especially important with the NHS’s net zero goals. By reducing the demand for fossil fuels, solar panels can improve air quality and therefore improve health outcomes in the local area and further afield. Solar panels on public buildings can also promote community engagement and pride. They demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and set an example for residents
F and minimal energy costs for years. The initial set up and maintenance costs are paid for in the savings made against traditional energy tariffs. Solar panels can provide an organisation with energy independence – meaning you are not reliant on or tied to fluctuating or expensive energy tariffs. Solar panels also reduce vulnerability to fluctuations in energy supply and power cuts. With battery storage systems, solar energy can be stored and used during emergencies, ensuring critical services remain operational. There is also the opportunity to take advantage of net metering and sell energy back to the grid and therefore even make money. There are also government incentives available that can reduce the upfront costs of solar installations.
By reducing the demand for fossil fuels, solar panels can improve air quality and therefore improve health outcomes and local businesses. Installing solar panels can also improve the public image of the local health authority. Local economy The installation and maintenance of solar panels can create local jobs, and therefore benefit the local community economically. Installing solar panels can have many benefits for the organisation that installs them, as well as the local community and the environment. Solar panels represent significant cost savings, as well as emission savings and can create jobs for the local area. L
2023 – Infection 360 Join us from 8-9 November 2023 at The Pendulum Hotel and Manchester Conference Centre for Infection 360 Conference as it returns for a second year, where renowned speakers within infection prevention discuss technology and its part in combatting new and existing pathogens
The event features a large exhibition where companies will be showcasing new products and technologies within infection prevention. The programme Infection 360 will cover a range of topics within infection prevention & control. Day one will cover Surgical Site Infection (SSI), Sustainability in IPC, CPE, MRSA and other challenging pathogens. Healthcare buildings as a source of infection will be the focus of day two. The Infection 360 Scientific Programme Chair is Tracey Cooper, Bangor University, lecturer in health sciences - infection prevention & control.
Highlights from Day 1 Day 1 covers Surgical Site Infection (SSI), Sustainability in IPC, CPE, MRSA and other challenging pathogens. Highlights include Sustainability Challenges in Infection Prevention Control: Tracey Gauci, consultant practitioner, Hywel Dda University Health Board; An Intriguing Outbreak of CPE: Dr Emma Yates, Dr Efthia Yiannakis, co infection control doctors, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust; and BSAC Global Antimicrobial Stewardship Accreditation Scheme: Dr David R Jenkins, president of BSAC, consultant in medical microbiology and virology lead E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
F infection control doctor, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Also included are NHSE IP Education and Workforce Work Programme: NHS England speaker to be confirmed; and Staphylococcus Aureus and MRSA; old problems but still a challenge: speaker to be confirmed.
Highlights from Day 2 Day 2 focusses on healthcare buildings as a source of infection. Talks on the day include: Environmental Standards for Safe Decontamination: John Prendergast, senior decontamination engineer, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership Specialist Estates Services; IPC: Providing Assurance in New Builds: Paul Weaving, nurse consultant, Hayley Cane, nurse consultant, NHS Scotland Assure/ARHAI Scotlandl; and MDRO in Drains and Links to HCAI: Dr Michael Weinbren, consultant medical microbiologist, specialist advisor microbiology, New Hospitals Programme. Other highlights include: Ventilation Challenges in IPC: Dr Allan Bennett, UK ventilation and aerobiology expert at UKHSA; To TMV, or Not to TMV, That is the Question: Scald Versus Infection risk: Paul McDermott, PJM-HS Consulting Ltd; and An Update on Water Safety: Steve Vaughan, technical director, Public Health Engineering. There will also be a talk on Health & Safety and Infection Prevention Control: speaker to be confirmed. See the programme in full here.
Call for abstracts Do you have a project or piece of work that you would like to share with your peers? Submitting an abstract at conference is an excellent way to communicate the outcomes of your research project. Presenting will also support your personal development, showcase your skills and help grow your CV. Abstract submissions are invited for oral and poster presentations for the following topics: MDROs including CPE and MRSA, AMS, sustainability and IPC, SSI or any aspect of IPC relating to the built environment. The closing date for abstracts is Friday 25 August 2023 (23:59 BST). For more information and to submit click here. Who should attend The programme is designed to appeal to all those working within infection prevention and control and public health across clinical and non-clinical areas, including: directors, managers, consultants, microbiologists, nurses, leads, doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, estates directors/managers, facilities directors/ managers, risk/governance managers. Registration and fees Delegate - Full conference £95.00 Delegate - Wednesday £60.00 Delegate - Thursday £60.00 Click here to register.
speakers and cutting-edge programme, Infection 360 will attract a wide audience across various clinical and non-clinical areas. As a result, the Infection 360 conference is not just a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness for your products within the NHS. These elements come together to provide delegates and our industry partners with an excellent environment in which to further build relations at Infection 360 and exchange ideas concerning products and technologies. Find out more here. How to get to the venue Picadilly Station and Oxford Road Station are only a five-minute walk away. There is no car park at the venue but there is a multi-storey car park located on Charles Street, M1 3BB. Find out more here. Infection 360 – sustainability Infection 360 are working with a carbon consultant again for 2023 to work out the emissions for the event with an aim to reduce these and potentially offset on completion of the event. Click here to find out more. L FURTHER INFORMATION
Registration, programme and abstract submission at: www.infection360.co.uk
The exhibition The Infection 360 conference will be one of the largest infection prevention and control exhibitions in the UK in 2023 and it is expected to attract upwards of 250 professionals over the course of two days. With its high-profile
Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust Virgin Media O2 Business worked with Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) to update and improve their outdated IT infrastructure
The challenge Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) partnered with Virgin Media O2 Business to address critical issues in their outdated IT infrastructure. NCH&C, responsible for providing healthcare and support services to over 900,000 people across Norfolk, faced a daunting challenge. Their existing network (Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology), was the backbone of their Trust, but proved inflexible, lacked calability, and suffered frequent ‘P1 outages’ - the most severe type of network disruption. Any disruption to any of their services – across any of the broad range of healthcare and support services they provide – could have potentially life-changing consequences for many thousands of people. As the first standalone NHS community trust in the UK to achieve an Outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission, NCH&C’s digital infrastructure needed to support the very highest standard of care. The solution This precarious situation led NCH&C to embark on a digital transformation journey to
transition to a cloud-based, Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution. This would not only resolve their current issues but also pave the way for a more efficient and innovative healthcare delivery system. The SD-WAN solutions were clear, to improve network performance, reduce complexity and enable cloud-based services. The desired end goal was a network which delivered improved operational efficiency, leading to freeing up back office and clinicians’ time and better care for patients. Paul Walsh, infrastructure consultant for NCH&C, explained, “We decided on Cloud adoption and moving away from data centres. This was quite innovative for the NHS, but had been used before in other sectors. It was a big leap of faith for the Trust to move towards it.” Based on its reputation for exceptional support and connectivity services, partnering with Virgin Media O2 Business went a long way towards gaining internal buy-in. The transition to a SDWAN solution necessitated a complete digital overhaul, extending to over 150 GP surgeries and the Integrated Care System, however the roll-out has been managed with minimal disruption to L EF end-users. The benefits Since then, NCH&C has realised significant cost savings, a tenfold improvement in core network speed and resilience, and a drastic reduction in P1 outages, from one to two per week to just one per year. The SDWAN solution continues to deliver results, supporting clinicians and patients alike on their journey toward a more efficient and innovative healthcare system. L FURTHER INFORMATION
50 BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS | www.healthbusinessuk.net
Understanding the NHS clinical waste strategy The NHS is one of the largest providers of waste in the country, producing approximately 156,000 tonnes of clinical waste a year. That waste is either sent to high temperature incineration (HTI) or for alternative treatment (AT), which is equivalent to over 400 loaded jumbo jets of waste In January, NHS England produced a clinical waste strategy, which is aimed at addressing how best to deal with the large amounts of waste created. The strategy is part of a group of documents, which includes the NHS waste planning tool. The documents are aimed at helping the NHS reach its targets of net zero for direct carbon emissions by 2040 and net zero for indirect carbon emissions by 2045. The foreword to the report, by Simon Corben, director of estates and head of profession at
NHS England recognises the large amount of waste produced by the organisation and acknowledges “it is vital that the NHS disposes it in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner, and we are only creating waste when absolutely necessary”. Corben says: “The best waste management practices reduce waste, improve compliance and can lead to significant cost savings from lower waste volumes. They also have a significant part to play in minimising harm to the environment and increasing resource E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Designs for a Cleaner, Safer & More
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F utilisation. This all leads to a reduction in carbon generated from waste and saving taxpayers money.” It is expected that with the implementation of the strategy over the next ten years, the NHS can save approximately £11 million a year in recurrent revenue costs and reduce carbon emissions from waste by around 30 per cent – equivalent to 2 million road miles a year. Corben adds: “I encourage all NHS providers to embrace and adopt this strategy and embed the steps from the action plan as part of their daily waste management practices.” Aims The strategy has among its aims improving waste management practices across providers including NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts and primary care and to make them more sustainable and efficient and therefore save on cost, improve hospital function and reduce the impact on the environment. The key objective of the strategy is to eliminate waste and turn it into a resource. It is important that waste is minimised, treated and disposed of in a safe way that minimises environmental harm and therefore protects patients, staff, the NHS and the wider community. Providers must comply with waste legislation and regulations. It is a rolling ten-year strategy, comprising of annual reviews and implementation plans for
one and three years ahead. Though it mainly covers clinical and offensive waste, it is relevant for all types of waste produced by the NHS. Clinical waste refers to waste containing viable micro-organisms or their toxins which are known or reliably believed to cause disease in humans or other living organisms; waste which contains or is contaminated with a medicine that contains a biologically active pharmaceutical agent; and sharp waste, or a body fluid or other biological material E
The strategy outlines six areas of focus for improvement
F (including human and animal tissue) containing or contaminated with a dangerous substance as defined by EC No 1271/2008 (The Classification, Labelling, and Packaging Regulation). Waste that has the highest potential of harm to people or the environment must be treated with high temperatures, for example with incineration (HTI). Lower risk waste can be treated using alternative treatment methods (AT) including sterilisation. Offensive waste (OW) has no hazardous properties and can be treated or disposed of in a similar manner to municipal waste. Areas of improvement The strategy outlines six areas of focus for improvement: data, workforce, compliance, commercial, infrastructure and sustainability. Each area of improvement has a KPI against which to measure improvement. Three areas of improvement come under “Productivity” – data, workforce and compliance. In order to “use better data”, comprehensive, consistent data from across all NHS organisations and Integrated Care Systems needs to be utilised to drive decision making and proactive risk management. The KPI for this area is that all clinical waste generated by NHS providers will be regularly reported with a minimum of 95 per cent accuracy by 2024. For workforce, the aim is to invest in a skilled workforce. This means investing in developing a skilled and diverse waste management workforce with appropriate support and defined career paths. The measure of success in this respect will be 100 per cent of NHS trusts and foundation trusts having a dedicated waste manager role by 2023. With regards to compliance, the strategic priority is to “improve our ability to comply”, by ensuring all NHS staff understand and adhere to compliance requirements. Two other areas for improvement – commercial and infrastructure – come under the heading “Resilience”. A commercial model should be established that delivers better value. This involves supporting the standardisation of contracting arrangements and developing a commercial model which encourages healthy market conditions. The KPI here is the average net cost of clinical waste management reducing by 15 per cent per tonne of waste by 2030. With regards to infrastructure, it is intended that resilient infrastructure that meets future demand will be developed. This involves investing in clinical waste infrastructure to
It is intended that resilient infrastructure that meets future demand will be developed
Staff awareness It is important that all NHS staff are aware of and actively involved in improving waste management practices. All members of staff, clinical and non-clinical are responsible for sustainable waste management, which reduces cost and has a smaller impact on the environment. This starts with improved compliance in the segregation of waste types. Waste hierarchy DEFRA describes a waste hierarchy which ranks waste management options according to what is best for the environment, with highest priority given to avoiding waste in the first place.
DEFRA describes a waste hierarchy which ranks waste management options according to what is best for the environment
increase capacity and regional resilience and support sustainable waste processing practices. As a measure of success, all NHS providers will introduce arrangements for the management of the offensive waste stream by 2023. Finally, Sustainability comes under Net Zero Carbon. The aim is to improve use of resources and reduce carbon impact by proactively working to reduce harmful emissions, improve local air quality and achieve the 2045 net zero carbon target. The measure of success here is achieving a 50 per cent reduction in the carbon emissions produced from waste management by 2026 and an 80 per cent reduction by 2028-32.
Then if waste is created, it should be correctly segregated, with priority then given to preparing it for reuse, recycling, recovering for energy use and disposal in that order – with the last option landfill. The strategy states: “Following the waste hierarchy when making all waste management decisions in the NHS is central to good practice and to achieving the objectives of this strategy.” The strategy highlights the responsibility that the NHS has when it comes to reducing and managing waste effectively and sustainably. It is important that everyone is on board and involved with waste management practices. If this strategy is implemented effectively, then it will have a significant impact on the amount of waste produced and how that waste is then treated in terms of monetary cost and cost to the environment. L FURTHER INFORMATION
The clinical waste strategy can be found here.
The importance of protecting on-screen data in healthcare Healthcare professionals handle a vast amount of sensitive patient information, including medical records, test results, and personal data Increased user adoption: The improved viewing experience and virtually invisible nature of the filters increase the likelihood of healthcare professionals using them consistently. The filters seamlessly integrate with laptop screens, and healthcare professionals may not even notice they are in place. This ensures that privacy protection becomes a natural part of their daily workflow. The exposure of such data to unauthorised individuals can have severe consequences, including breaches of patient privacy, legal implications, and damage to the reputation of healthcare organisations. Protecting on-screen data from shoulder surfers and visual hackers is essential to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of patient information.
Compliance with regulatory standards: The healthcare sector is subject to strict regulatory standards, including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in the United States. 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters assist healthcare organisations in meeting these compliance requirements by safeguarding on-screen patient data and preventing unauthorised access.
The revolutionary solution: 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters offer innovative features specifically designed to address the challenges faced by healthcare professionals:
Conclusion In the healthcare sector, protecting patient privacy and maintaining compliance with regulatory standards is vital. The 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters offer a revolutionary solution to safeguard on-screen data from unauthorised access, L EF enhancing privacy and data security for healthcare professionals. With their advanced privacy features, improved viewing experience, and compatibility with various laptop models, these filters are the ideal choice for the healthcare sector. By integrating 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters, healthcare organisations can prioritise patient privacy, comply with regulatory requirements, and ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive patient information. In an age where data privacy and compliance are paramount concerns, the 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters provide a game-changing solution for IT managers and organisations. L
Advanced privacy protection: The filters utilise nanolouver film technology, backed by 11 patents, to provide an exceptional viewing experience for authorised users while blackening out angled views, ensuring privacy from onlookers. This feature prevents unauthorised access to patient information, protecting patient privacy and complying with healthcare regulations. Improved viewing experience: The Bright Screen Privacy Filters enhance screen brightness by an average of 25 percent compared to standard “black” privacy filters. This improvement eliminates the common issue of darkened screens, enabling healthcare professionals to view medical records, images, and other critical information clearly and accurately.
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The importance of secure document disposal in the health service Health information is some of the most sensitive data there is and all those who handle it have a legal duty to ensure that patient confidentiality is maintained at all times. This means that even when medical records are no longer needed, they must be disposed of in a safe and secure way While a lot of healthcare bodies are moving towards paperless systems, there remain a vast quantity of paper records which require a safe disposal route. This ranges from patient files to test results, X-rays and medical records. These are subject to a complex legal framework – including the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which protects patients and ensures their data does not end up in the public domain. As a result, all NHS Trusts should have their own dedicated Records Management Policy, to ensure full compliance with the law and many organisations have a dedicated Data Protection Officer.
So what is the best way to dispose of paper records to ensure that your legal duties are being met? Security shredding is widely considered the most effective way of destroying both confidential documents and data storage media. But, according to NHS Guidelines, the use of a simple, traditional vertical shredder ‘is not suitable for sensitive or confidential information.’ Instead, the NHS advocates ‘the shredding of sensitive paper records to be conducted using a cross cut shredder’ in accordance with European standard BS EN 15713:2009 and the HMG Information Assurance Standard (IS5). E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
F BS EN 15713:2009 gives businesses a framework to manage and control the destruction of any confidential material, demonstrating that they take security seriously. This means that whoever is shredding this material must meet strict security standards. With this is mind, how can waste managers in the health sector ensure that their paper records and digital data are handled with the appropriate security measures in place? According to Paul Caldwell, chair of the United Kingdom Security Shredding Association (UKSSA), healthcare waste managers can achieve peace of mind by looking for independent verification that the highest security standards are being met. UKSSA is the only UK trade association solely dedicated to the security shredding industry and members have to pass a security audit before they can join and are audited every two years to ensure they are maintaining rigorous standards, incorporating both EN15713 and BS 7858 (screening of security personnel). All UKSSA members must also deliver services which allow their customers to meet their obligations under GDPR. “Medical records contain huge amount of sensitive information which is protected by law, meaning it requires disposal which is 100 per cent safe and secure”, Mr Caldwell explains. “UKSSA was founded 25 years ago to promote high standards in security shredding and we still live by that principle today. All our members are audited to the highest standards in the data destruction industry, meaning that if you employ an UKSSA member, you know you are getting a service you can trust.” UKSSA members provide secure shredding services to healthcare providers across the country either on-site at the healthcare location – which is what the majority of healthcare providers require – or securely off-site at their state-of-the-art destruction centres. Process Typically, shredding services will see customers issued with high security, lockable confidential waste bins or cabinets to store material prior to collection. When the material is ready for shredding, vetted staff will come to site and transfer the material onto a secure mobile shredding vehicle kitted out with an industrial shredder, or take material off-site to a state-ofthe-art destruction centre. Security is prioritised every step of the way.
All shredded material is baled and sent to paper mills for recycling At the end of this process, a Certificate of Destruction is issued to provide definitive proof that the process is complete. All shredded material is baled and sent to paper mills for recycling into products ranging from paper towels to high quality printing papers, thereby benefiting the environment. Many security shredding providers also generate renewable energy to provide a significant proportion of the energy they use, helping contribute towards their customers’ environmental goals. Shred Station is one UKSSA member company which provides secure shredding services for a wide array of health, social care and medical bodies. Kristian Carter, commercial director at Shred Station, comments: “The healthcare sector handles a colossal amount of confidential information and special category data about patients. “Having a reliable shredding service is vital to keep this information safe. As well as thinking about the destruction of paper documents, waste managers in the healthcare sector must also consider the destruction of items like X-rays, hard drives and old uniforms. Kristian adds: “These are just some of the many services UKSSA members deliver to
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Records management According to the NHS Records Management Code of Practice, the destruction of paper records can be carried out either in-house or by a third party. However, the code stresses that if an offsite company is used, the health care body or organisation is responsible for ensuring the provider chosen meets the relevant requirements. It explains that records that do not contain personal material can be destroyed in a less secure manner, but if in doubt should be treated as confidential. “Do not use the domestic waste or put records on a rubbish tip to destroy identifiable, confidential material, because they remain accessible to anyone who finds them”, the Code of Practice warns. The Information Commissioner (ICO) enforces data protection laws and if these have not been complied with, it can impose fines of up to £17 million or 4 per cent of global turnover for the most serious data breaches.
The Information Commissioner (ICO) enforces data protection laws Since the start of this year, the ICO has taken action against six healthcare organisations, with health care one of the main sectors to be targeted. This action causes reputational damage and can be very costly too. For this reason, it is vital that health care organisations do their due diligence when seeking a security shredding partner and look for independent verification that standards are being met. Mr Caldwell said: “Ensuring health and care data is protected is critical in the health service and this is core to what UKSSA members do. We are the gold standard when it comes to security shredding and also provide a national network of fully audited members to ensure peace of mind for national and sub-contracted work.” “By using an UKSSA member, you can be assured of that both your legal obligations and NHS guidelines will be met.” L
customers such as NHS Trusts, hospitals, GP surgeries, dentists and private healthcare companies. If your healthcare organisation needs to destroy paper or non-paper materials, a reputable shredding service supplier will be able to help.”
Spend Recovery Reviews to ease financial pressures Twice2much discuss how Spend Recovery Reviews, based on a ‘share of recoveries’ only, can help ease current financial pressures Many organisations have either not heard of Spend Recovery Reviews or do not consider that the recoveries and associated cash generated are likely to be applicable to them. However, with so many financial pressures on every organisation as a result of the recent inflation, energy costs surges and the COVID pandemic, there has never been a more appropriate time to consider EVERY avenue for income generation. As the cost of a review is based on a ‘share of recoveries’ with no upfront costs and limited/no internal resource requirements, undertaking a review of this type should bear serious and urgent consideration. Twice2much specialises in ‘Spend Recovery Services’ working with finance directors, accounts payable managers and heads of audit to provide a comprehensive review of accounts payable spend. Our recoveries made on behalf of clients to date demonstrate beyond doubt how we can help any client…
Stage 2 - Verification/validation Expert detailed analysis of transactions at individual supplier level to validate and investigate anomalies and evidence to support initial findings. Stage 3 – Recovery/Reporting Twice2much provide the system, processes and resources to recover the errors found on our clients’ behalf. Flexible but targeted reporting provides significant additional benefits to clients. Who should be considering these reviews within your organisation? Heads of audit, heads of fraud departments, heads of finance, and heads of accounts payable or procurement are the key individuals involved in considering and procuring these types of ‘specialised’ reviews. As ‘all’ Twice2much Spend Recovery Reviews are undertaken on a ‘share of savings’ basis, they are in effect self-financing, and therefore no budget or funding is required, limiting the need for a protracted procurement exercise. Benefits? Recoveries from our reviews effectively represent an ‘unbudgeted financial windfall’ which can be used to directly address budgetary pressures, enable the provision of additional services and/ L EF or fund additional resource requirements. Twice2much would be happy to provide more details or discuss how we can help you generate these benefits quickly and efficiently. L FURTHER INFORMATION
There are 3 stages to a Twice2much Spend Recovery review:
Stage 1 - Identification/detection Access to £100,000’s of technology, including ‘bespoke’ analytic software and resources; access to dedicated experienced professionals; multiple-layer interrogation of transactions with suppliers; and specialist expertise in reviewing supplier transactions and identifying anomalies.
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NHS workforce plan will need a change in approach and mindset from clinicians, patients and systems Amanda Grantham takes a look at the NHS workforce plan The NHS workforce plan centres on the need to train, reform and retain its employees to meet future demand, leading to an increase of up to 360,000 new staff across integrated care systems (ICSs). Increasing the number of formal training places available through more diverse points of entry and improving retention through rewarding career and development are at the heart of what needs to be done to deliver this plan. The introduction of new roles, reforming the way care is delivered and by whom, will be critical to meeting anticipated demand in 2036/37. But these roles will need
to be designed, clinically led and committed to driving productivity to create the capacity needed. Determining which roles will be needed to meet demand It is important to recognise that more staff will not increase capacity without redesigning clinical pathways to be more efficient and effective. During COVID-19 there was around a 10 per cent increase in headcount within NHS acute trusts. However, at the beginning of 2023/24, providers were at 97 per cent of E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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F pre-pandemic productivity levels. Delivery of the NHS workforce plan means broadening the skill mix of multidisciplinary teams, creating new and diverse roles across systems. In designing the new workforce, the roles need to create new capacity to meet demand, either through new services to meet future need or increasing provision in existing services. Creating a new role requires the redesign of the way the multidisciplinary teams work together. The starting point for this workforce design should be the optimal clinical pathways, rather than what is being done today. That means setting out the clinical red lines (what can only be done by a registered healthcare professional), looking at the skills and roles needed and the most efficient use of capacity.
The aim should be designing broad and rewarding recruitment, training and career pathways The design of the COVID-19 vaccination workforce demonstrated how new roles could be created to meet increased demand. That led over 145,000 people to join the NHS working as unregistered vaccinators who came from diverse backgrounds including retired medical staff, airline workers, volunteers and students. Systems will also need to be more focused on the competency of the workforce, training employees in the skills needed to deliver their role safely and efficiently. The aim from the offset should be designing broad and rewarding recruitment, training and career pathways that will attract and retain the right talent. This could include consideration of how these roles can be steppingstones into future training or careers, as well as how apprenticeships could open doors for eligible people to take on these new roles. To meet growing demand in the national breast screening programme in collaboration with the College of Radiographers, roles and clinical career frameworks were redesigned to introduce two unregistered roles, mammography associates and assistant practitioners, with defined scopes of practice and accreditation to undertake mammography. Approximately 30 percent of the workforce is now in these new roles. E
F Clinical leadership is required Creating new roles in healthcare is about shifting care or elements of decision making to another trained and competent healthcare professional. This requires a change in approach from the provision of clinically delivered care to a position where healthcare is clinically led but can be provided by a diverse multidisciplinary team. Clinicians should be at the centre of the redesign of the workforce but their input will need to be coupled with that from those with the skills and expertise in increasing capacity. The NHS has had mixed success in integrating new roles into healthcare teams. The COVID19 vaccination programme was a nationally designed workforce model which used simulation to provide an evidence base and was clinically led and worked well. Another approach, the Additional Role Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) was established in 2019 had more variable results. This provided an automatic funding stream to Primary Care Networks to recruit 26,000 alternative roles to expand service provision and reduce patient waits. This was part of the government commitment to improve access to general practice and included roles such as clinical pharmacists and technicians. Not all practices have seen the anticipated benefits of these roles, with the Kings Fund highlighting that the roles were not being implemented or integrated into primary care teams effectively.
There will need to be a visible improvement in access to healthcare services if the public are to support these changes
New capacity will be needed to meet training needs The workforce plan contains a commitment to grow the number of training places across all professions. Capacity to provide this training will need to be created from existing workforce and services. This creates a risk that waiting times may increase. The plan commits to growing the number of medical school training places from 10,000 in 2028/29 to 15,000 by 2031/32. Each of these training place requires support from existing
The plan commits to growing the number of medical school training places from 10,000 in 2028/29 to 15,000 by 2031/32
It will also be important to manage the expectations of patients away from expecting that they will always see a medical professional. The government and NHS leaders will need to consider how to secure public acceptance of self-management for those with long term conditions, more care being provided in the home and community rather than hospital, and from trained staff who are not medically qualified. There will need to be a visible improvement in access to healthcare services if the public are to support these changes. The NHS are aiming to have 10,000 virtual ward beds in place to support growing demand this winter, a clinically led redesign of the workforce means that care will continue to be overseen by a medical team but the delivery of healthcare will predominantly be through a multidisciplinary team of healthcare support workers and allied healthcare professionals.
clinicians. The British Medical Association (BMA) recommends additional non-patient facing time to support trainees, of only an hour a week per trainee for consultants. To meet this standard will require over 125 full time consultants/GPs to be released each year from NHS services. By 2036/37, this will mean over 625 full time consultants/GPs will be supporting additional trainees rather than delivering care. That makes it critical that productivity and efficiency are at the heart of service redesign to minimise the impact on waiting times. This underlines that the plan’s ambitions on training and retaining staff will not be achieved without reform. That will require a careful analysis of the right size and shape of the workforce that will be needed to meet future demand for local populations. Now more than ever, diverse, multidisciplinary, efficient and clinically led approaches will be the key principles that systems should be adopting when driving the reform of their workforce. L FURTHER INFORMATION
Amanda Grantham is a healthcare expert at PA Consulting
Exploring communication technology’s future The vital role of the Communication Technology Expo, March 13th & 14th 2024, at London’s ExCeL In today’s ever-evolving communication technology landscape, keeping pace isn’t just advantageous; it’s indispensable. The forthcoming Communication Technology Expo, scheduled for March 13th and 14th, 2024, at London’s ExCeL, presents a unique opportunity to explore the forefront of solutions and strategies shaping the industry. This article emphasises why attending expos like this one is vital for discovering the next wave of communication technology innovations. 1. Unveiling emerging trends The Communication Technology Expo consolidates the latest advancements in one place, providing insights into the future of communication, including 5G, IoT, AIdriven communication tools, and more. 2. Networking and partnerships This Expo attracts industry leaders, experts, and enthusiasts from around the world, offering a prime opportunity to expand your professional network, nurture partnerships, and engage in meaningful conversations. 3. Wisdom from thought leaders Renowned speakers and experts share their knowledge through keynote sessions, seminars, and workshops, providing a deeper understanding of communication technology trends, best practices, and solutions. 4. Strategic market insights Expos are essential for market research, enabling attendees to compare products, gather user feedback, and make informed decisions aligned with their organisation’s goals and budget.
6. Fostering the spirit of innovation Exposure to diverse communication technology solutions often sparks innovative ideas, empowering attendees to return to their organisation with fresh perspectives and strategies. 7. CPD learning opportunities Not only are the seminar and keynote sessions valuable to attend from a personal learning perspective. They are also fully CPD-accredited by The CPD Group. This means that the insights attendees will take away from the Expo go so much further than the two-day event. They will follow them into their careers and beyond. In conclusion, attending expos like The Communication Technology Expo isn’t just beneficial; it’s vital for anyone in the communication technology field. These events provide a comprehensive experience that can shape your organisation’s communication strategies. Mark your calendars for March 13th and 14th, 2024, and join us at ExCeL in London for an immersive journey into the dynamic world of communication technology. Your organisation’s future success in communication technology awaits. L Date: 13th & 14th March 2024 Venue: ExCeL, London Admission: FREE FURTHER INFORMATION
5. Immersive hands-on experiences Interactive experiences allow attendees to interact with the latest communication technology products, gaining a deeper understanding of their functions and potential integration.
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How effective learning and development can help the health and care sector The health and care sector is a demanding one, especially with rising service demands, a growing elderly population, rising costs and increasing health concerns. With added strain, alongside the constant need to develop and enhance the healthcare systems in place, investing in the people who work for your healthcare facility is a crucial step in the right direction for struggling practices In this article, Stephanie West, head of School of Health and Care Management at Arden University explores the role degree apprenticeships have to play in strengthening the skills of the future generation of health and care leaders. Upskilling for talent retention and diversity Retaining staff has never been more important – especially for the health and care sector. On top of this, there is a growing need for organisations to maintain a diverse leadership
team, especially for the betterment of those they service, as well as the organisation itself. A patient’s culture and background will not only affect whether and where they seek care, but it may impact the types of conditions they may be more prone to, as well as their own understanding of medical information and how they make health care decisions. This pushes the need for better diversity at the top level to fully understand the system changes needed to meet the needs of the organisation and patients. E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
F Unfortunately, diverse representation still remains proportionally low when it comes to the more senior positions. This is an ongoing issue that many organisations are trying to solve to make their senior leadership roles more representative of their overall workforce and those they look after. One way to solve the retention problem is by developing and training existing teams, so they can gain the accreditations needed for such management and leadership roles. Not only will they know the particular problems their facility will need to solve, but they will also be working up to a more senior position – allowing them to make the decisions they think are best for the practice itself. Preparing to enhance your healthcare system System leadership skills are now key for many health and care facilities to survive while looking after those they care for, so when looking to upskill staff in the sector, there must be a focus on systems thinking and core management skills throughout. However, given the unique challenges the health and care sector often faces, suitable upskilling opportunities are typically hard to find. For instance, programmes need to be designed to enable cultural change, leadership development and maximise system effectiveness. However, that’s a big ask, so how can it be done? Research has found that health and care employees are best prepared to do their jobs well if they have comprehensive information, clear learning opportunities, feedback along the way to build their confidence, support to innovate and develop new and improved ways of providing patient care and trust in their supervisors and leaders. Apprenticeship degrees are often underutilised in the sector, but they are a very effective solution to offer all of this and more, helping to upskill staff while simultaneously looking after practice needs. There are bespoke apprenticeship courses, such as the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Health & Care) plus Executive MBA (CMI) now offered by Arden University, which have been designed specifically for health and care professionals, including those working within NHS Trusts, social care, primary care, private clinics, charitable sectors, wider health professions and local councils. As well as Senior Leader programmes, other apprenticeship degrees,
Apprenticeship degrees are often underutilised in the sector such as the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA), are ideal for preparing staff for their first management role within an organisation. However, a lot of the programmes available to develop these skills, as well as
Health and care facilities can also use their apprenticeship levy to fund apprenticeship degrees
provide a recognised chartered management qualification, are not health and care focused. Such apprenticeship programmes can drive collaborative working across organisation and sector boundaries, by covering topics such as strategy, leading teams and organisations, financial management and managing digital transformation. Senior Leader Apprenticeships also equip health and care employees with both a strong skillset and mindset that reflect the sector’s current and future needs. Undergraduate degree apprenticeships, such as the CMDA, also allow the health and care sector to support current staff members who may not be ready to gain an MBA or postgraduate level qualification and give them a chance to achieve a university-level qualification. This option opens doors for those who are passionate about working in health and care management but do not have the time, money, or opportunity to commit to attending university full time, and as a result, this will hopefully contribute to levelling out the lack of diversity found in leadership roles. Health and care facilities can also use their apprenticeship levy to fund apprenticeship degrees to support with retaining staff and improving diversity in leadership. This makes it an easy and accessible option for not only progressing individuals’ careers but also for strengthening all health and care organisations, regardless of service or size. With apprenticeships, the courses are free for the
learner, as the employer pays for them through apprenticeship funding, opening opportunities for a more diverse range of staff. However, as health and care is a demanding industry, degrees also need to be flexible when supporting staff. The courses offered by Arden University, for instance, are completed entirely remotely to ensure they suit employers and employees and fit around their working and home lives – again opening accessibility to close the gap in diversity, especially in leadership health and care roles. With the health and care sector constantly needing to improve and develop the services it offers patients in an ageing, diverse population, looking to upskill staff is a key component for many facilities across the UK. Apprenticeship degrees can be the key to unlocking this – allowing professionals to keep working and looking after their patients, while simultaneously upskilling to make systematic changes for a more robust future for the next generations. L FURTHER INFORMATION
Re-engineering how we narrow the physical and mental health gap for minority ethnic communities Dr Shivani Sharma, Associate Professor in Health Equity, University of Hertfordshire, School of Life and Medical Sciences on how we can recognise and address health inequalities
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There has never been as much talk about health inequality. We live in a time when it is widely recognised that physical and mental well-being is not fairly distributed amongst all communities. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with major events in society have put the extent of disadvantage into sharp focus. Marmot’s landmark report ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ and its review ten years on concurs that effort to narrow the health gap is not progressing at pace, and for some, the reality is that the gap is widening. In multi-cultural England, the data tells us that people from minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to carry the burden of physical and mental health disadvantage. But before we dive into this, let’s first clarify the difference between two terms that are often used interchangeably but mean different things – ‘health inequality’ and ‘health inequity’. ‘Inequality’ refers to a measurable difference. But not every type of difference is inherently inequitable. For example, we might expect that older adults as compared to youth will experience more physical health complaints. The dimension of health inequity assigns a moral judgement on whether a difference in experience or outcome is unfair and reasonably avoidable. The picture in relation to physical and mental health amongst minority ethnic communities in England is complex and the way that data is presented can often mask important differences between the experiences of specific community groups. We know that although the direct and
The picture in relation to physical and mental health amongst minority ethnic communities in England is complex indirect drivers of poorer outcomes are wide ranging, they include factors such as poverty, educational opportunity, environmental factors, behavioural factors, and structural racism. Many, but not all, ethnically minoritised communities are disproportionately E
F impacted by socioeconomic deprivation, known to live in the 10 per cent of most deprived neighbourhoods. There is a path that most people can imagine that might follow on from this related to access to resources, physical environment, social capital, and life opportunities in general that all feed into such disadvantages spilling into physical and mental health outcomes. Disadvantage rarely sits in an isolated box. Some of the inequities that exist include higher rates of severe mental illness such as schizophrenia in Black heritage communities, to variations across ethnic groups in rates of physical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The evidence tells us that access to care, even in healthcare systems that are free at the point of use such as the NHS, remains problematic. Community groups with the highest need for mental health support are less likely to be able to access timely, relevant assessment and intervention, and when they do, outcomes are often worse than for white
The workforce has an essential role as change agents in narrowing disadvantage
heritage counterparts. So, how then do we reengineer the way care is planned and delivered to ensure that equity in physical and mental health is meaningfully at the heart of agenda for policy makers, service commissioners, service enablers, and researchers? Education, transformation, challenge. Education Making physical and mental well-being a reality for ethnically minoritised communities is the responsibility of a range of professionals, sitting across a diversity of fields. But is education fit for purpose to help this workforce act as catalysts of equity in their everyday professional lives? To what extent does physical and mental health training sufficiently support skills in concepts such as cultural sensitivity, cultural awareness, understanding and disrupting structural racism, and championing kindness in leadership? Until education sees a reform towards placing equity at the centre of training and development, we might not see the degree of community and patient advocacy at all levels to bring health equity intelligence into every element of practice. The workforce, be this in education, physical, mental, or allied health domains, has an essential role as change agents in narrowing disadvantage. They need to be empowered with the mindset and tools to understand and address systemic issues in practice.
Transformation Doing as we have done before is clearly not a path to bringing about the change that society is calling for. Scientific evidence tells us that change is stronger when the voices of those it is being engineered to support are central to the whole process. In this way, we can work towards a better understanding of the barriers, and enablers to designing preventive as well as responsive well-being initiatives. This may mean rethinking models of health, well-being, and intervention to ensure that they are culturally informed. At the same time, there needs to be recognition that transforming care to be truly personalised is a resource intensive endeavour, requiring professionals who are confident in understanding the interplay between different life factors, and skilled in building trust and rapport with communities as partners in remodelling how they want to access support and what good support looks and feels like. Challenge Health inequity, though in vogue, is not a new phenomenon. There is ample, quality evidence, on the basis of which changes in policy and practice can be enabled to address longstanding issues for communities who have been marginalised in care. We need to ask bigger questions to accelerate the pace of
Health inequity, though in vogue, is not a new phenomenon change, using existing evidence to mobilise action. What does effective partnership with change agents in the community mean? How can we ensure that everyone has access to information in a way that feels relevant and accessible to them to reduce burden of noncommunicable health issues? How can educational pedagogy foster a generation of professionals who embody socalled cultural sensitivity and competence? What is culturally informed mental health assessment and intervention? Does it matter if the approach to labelling and providing support for challenges is radically different to serve the needs of distinct cultural communities? How do we enable every person to bring health equity intelligence to their practice? Interrogating some of these questions will lead to co-designed methods of disrupting the status quo, and redesigning a system that works better to address the very real challenge of our time – that your ethnic identity is related to how much physical and mental health you enjoy! L Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Prescribing nature makes sense for people, business & our NHS Dom Higgins, head of health and education at The Wildlife Trusts explains some of the benefits of green prescribing Nature can transform people’s lives. Better still, it can help to reduce pressures on our NHS and benefit our economy. Our recent report, A Natural Health Service: Improving Lives and Saving Money, proves that investing in green prescribing – providing nature-based activities for people to improve their health – is not just the right thing to do for individuals, but it is also financially prudent for the public and private sectors. We need governments, local authorities, and businesses to get behind a new
wave of community-based health programmes – and green prescribing is the right place to start. The power of nature Green prescribing is an evidence-based pillar of social prescribing that harnesses the power of nature to improve physical and mental health. It sees doctors, other healthcare providers and community groups prescribe nature-based programmes to help people overcome all kinds
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By improving individual health and addressing the root causes of health issues, green prescribing leads to an overall decrease in healthcare needs and associated costs. greener, contributing towards the bigger goal of protecting at least 30 per cent of the country for nature by 2030. We must also provide opportunities for people to spend quality time doing positive things in nature, improving health, learning new skills, meeting others, and fostering deeper connections with the natural world – green prescribing does all these things and more.
of health issues. This includes helping those struggling with mental and physical health as well as other challenges like loneliness, physical inactivity, and lack of contact with nature. The public are crying out for greener, healthier, and more natural neighbourhoods but still one in three people do not have easy access to nature near their home. To tackle this, we need to make towns and cities cleaner and
Evidence Many illnesses and ailments are preventable – for example social isolation and loneliness can lead to depression, while physical inactivity can cause musculoskeletal problems. Green prescribing can stop certain health conditions from getting worse, as well as helping people to recover from more serious conditions. Activities are as varied as the people joining the courses. They range from gardening to woodwork to wildlife conservation, though it can also be as simple as meeting up with others to enjoy a walk in the park. It is not just individuals that benefit from doing these kinds of things – the knock-on effects help our entire society. E
F Our report, carried out by environmental consultancy, Ricardo plc, analysed the success of five Wildlife Trust programmes that use nature-based activities to improve people’s health. The findings provide compelling evidence that getting involved in nature projects effectively improves people’s health and happiness, which in turn reduces strain on healthcare providers – saving the NHS both time and money. The headline figure suggests if these kinds of programmes were offered to everyone likely to take them up – estimated at 1.2 million people – it could result in annual cost savings for the NHS of more than £635 million. By improving individual health and addressing the root causes of health issues, green prescribing leads to an overall decrease in healthcare needs and associated costs. There are plenty of commentators talking about the long-term survival of the NHS. Nature can provide some of the answers to these challenges by shouldering the burden on mainstream services. To have the biggest impact, we need to integrate these kinds of programmes into health and social care services right across the country. We know
We need to integrate these kinds of programmes into health and social care services right across the country
green prescribing works and our report underlines how it makes economic, social, and environmental sense to scale up programmes now, not decades into the future. Of course, that requires initial investment, but the returns in terms of social and health benefits are far greater – making green prescribing excellent value for money. Unexpected benefits Green prescribing is good for business as it helps people gain experience, confidence, and employability skills, paving the way for a healthier, more productive, and more employable workforce. Programmes often give people the impetus to explore new business ideas or different avenues for employment. Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Wild Health programme was one of those studied in the report. Participants get to try outdoor activities like coppicing, hedge laying, and tree planting. Some of those taking part become tremendously motivated by the work and go on to seek jobs or further opportunities in related areas. This ripple effect positively impacts local economies while improving community spaces. It’s win-win-win for health, community, and business. Beyond that, it’s a huge boost for nature. We need to create wilder and healthier natural places and, to do that, we need an army of people with skills, knowledge, and passion to get the work done. Nature’s recovery won’t happen overnight but empowering people to take charge of projects in their communities or embark on nature-based careers will make
things happen more quickly, at a time when nature needs us most. Health inequalities Green prescribing also has the potential to help reduce health inequalities. Social determinants, such as education, disability status, employment status, income levels and ethnicity, play a significant role in shaping an individual’s overall health and wellbeing. Research shows that actively engaging in nature benefits more vulnerable groups. Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s Feed the birds project sees dedicated volunteers visit someone in their home who has been referred by their GP or social prescriber. The volunteers help them feed birds and
Green prescribing also has the potential to help reduce health inequalities understand more about nature in their garden, yard, or local area. It’s also just a chance to enjoy some company and conversation. The home visits are incredibly valuable for people who struggle with limited mobility or other health challenges, while enabling them to maintain a sense of independence. Findings show the visits positively influence the overall health and wellbeing of individuals and, where appropriate, increase people’s receptiveness to receiving more formal care services. Volunteers can also guide people to other sources of help and support that they may not have been aware of before. This programme, like many green prescribing initiatives, shows how nature can become the conduit for strengthening bonds in communities. People need to be at the heart of nature’s recovery. The more time people spend outside enjoying and learning about nature, the more likely they are to help protect and restore it. The impact that has on societal health is enormous. Our report found that green prescribing can save more in healthcare costs than the cost of running the green prescribing scheme. It’s clear that investing in this work is worth every single penny. L FURTHER INFORMATION
The report can be found here.
Easing the squeeze on hospital beds ahead of winter, and building resilience beyond As NHS England sets out plans to speed up discharge of patients and improve care in preparation for what it expects to be a “difficult” winter for the service, NHS Shared Business Services unveils a new framework agreement, designed to support hospitals with their patient discharge needs and free up beds. Uniquely, it also supports additional care in mental health settings with a Mental Health Step Down Care Beds Services offer – the provision of temporary care for those who need it until more permanent arrangements can be made.
Medically fit, ward confined The latest data from NHS England (NHSE) shows that for the main, the number of patients who no longer meet the criteria to reside but remain in hospital is just shy of 12,000 daily, and analysis by The Health Foundation shows an NHS forced to cut admissions by over half a million due to a lack of beds. With winter approaching, the NHS has set out plans with new measures to help speed up discharge for patients, improve resilience across the country and improve care.
ICSs are expected to deliver virtual ward capacity equivalent to 40-50 virtual ward beds per 100,000 people
Delays in discharge processes and limited capacity in social and community care are making it challenging for NHS hospitals and mental health services to discharge patients appropriately. They remain inpatients, placing further strain on hospital resources, reducing the number of hospital beds available for new admissions, and at higher risk of hospital-acquired infections, loss of mobility, independence and readmission.
Part of this package is the creation of care “Traffic control” centres - hubs that host NHS, social care, housing and voluntary services staff in one place, so they can locate and co-ordinate the best and quickest discharge options for patients – whether this is at home, in social care or community care. Currently, a quarter of local areas offer this service, and NHSE plans to have them operating in every area of the country by winter to try to reduce the number of patients who are medically fit to be discharged but who remain in hospital. It is expected that by December, a third of patients could be discharged using this model which will draw information from electronic patient records to track patients and link up with housing services. NHSE has, in its delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services, stated “its ambition to improve to 76 per cent of patients being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours by March 2024”. The plan also sees virtual wards (hospitallevel care at home) playing an important part in expanding capacity by joining-up health and care outside of the hospital. Virtual wards combine technology and remote monitoring and advice to allow hospital-level care, including diagnostics and treatment. They can also replace the need for admission and facilitate people being able to leave hospital sooner, safely. As such, NHSE is looking to deploy virtual ward beds to scale up capacity from 7,000 to 10,000 in autumn, ready for winter. As part of NHSE’s ambition, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) are expected to deliver virtual ward capacity equivalent to 40-50 virtual ward beds per 100,000 people by December 2023, with virtual ward services developed across ICSs and provider collaboratives, rather than individual institutions. However, with in-house resources already stretched, teams on the ground across ICSs, NHS trusts, social care and local authorities may struggle to source the expertise and solutions they need to deliver their respective programmes within expected timescales and to budget. E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
F Streamlining the transition from hospital to care, adding extra capacity To support them, NHS Shared Business Services has released a new framework agreement, ‘Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds Services’, developed to aid the transition of patients from hospital, by helping health and care providers access extra capacity if required. Designed to streamline the transition from hospital to the community/care homes, it offers support in the discharge of adults and improves the patient pathway, from acute care to an appropriate care setting, thereby reducing delayed transfers of care and unavoidable readmissions to hospital. The framework agreement aims to: facilitate the transfer of patients from hospital beds to a more appropriate level of care; supply additional bed capacity within the NHS urgent care system infrastructure by relieving bed pressures within the local health economy; and discharge patients meeting specific clinical criteria into an appropriate care setting, reducing instances of re-admission to hospital.
It also aims to allow patients to have personalised oneto-one support maintaining continuity of care
It also aims to allow patients to have personalised one-to-one support maintaining continuity of care. And provide a dedicated pathway to hospital discharge management services. Lots It is categorised into 4 Lots (service types), each representing a combination of goods and/or services which can largely be defined as either clinical (for the NHS and healthcare organisations) or social care-based (for local authorities and housing associations). Lot 1: Discharge to Assess Services, facilitates patient discharge not only from emergency departments but also from the wider acute hospital and community care settings. Lot 2: Third Party Brokerage Services, supplies brokerage services for hospital patients whose needs are to be met when they are fit to be discharged from hospital. Lot 3: Virtual Ward Support Services, supplies a “secondary care” service within a patient’s care setting for up to 6 weeks. Patients are transferred to the Virtual Ward Support Service following referral from the Trusts’ clinical discharge teams on acceptance by service leads. Lot 4: Mental Health Step Down Care Beds Services, focused on securing Mental Health
It also offers reduced bureaucracy and confusion around Patient Discharge processes which lead to delays for patients Step Down Care supported placements which must provide safe, rapid assessments with an outcome of accommodation that would support patients who are 18+ currently enduring mental ill-health and are being discharged from an acute ward, for a period of up to six weeks. Free to access, the framework agreement provides a convenient, compliant and costeffective means for teams across NHS health and care providers, hospital trusts, ICSs and elsewhere in the public sector, to purchase such solutions at pace and at competitive rates, from carefully vetted vendors, each of whom have undergone a rigorous process of selection. Choice of procurement routes There are two routes to procuring services using the framework agreement – direct award or further competition. The direct award route allows the purchaser – subject to procurement regulations - to award a contract directly to a supplier, enabling them to obtain services at speed. The further competition process (sometimes called mini-competition) re-opens competition under the framework agreement. Procuring parties can ask suppliers to submit proposals
and costings to help them select the most appropriate services and drive further efficiencies. Potential benefits The framework offers several benefits including: reduced length of acute bed stays post medical discharge; reduction in acute trust unplanned re-admission rates, generating savings to participating authorities from re-admissions; reductions in cancellations of elective operations because of a lack of bed capacity; and reduction in inappropriate discharge of patients out of hours. It also offers reduced bureaucracy and confusion around Patient Discharge processes which lead to delays for patients and adds cost to the system; enables efficient and effective communication and coordination between health and awarded providers within social care in order to meet specific patient needs; and supports adequate and timely information which must be shared between services whenever there is a transfer of care between individuals or services. L FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information contact: email@example.com Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Scanning solutions for Healthcare
By scanning and deploying a document management solution, healthcare organisations can more efficiently manage all their paper and digitally born material. Key benefits include: ■ Centralised storage with enhanced security for all information, including patient records. ■ Business process agility that can lead to productivity gains and cost savings.
■ Enhanced compliance (GDPR) throughout all departments with all regulatory guidelines. ■ Faster access to patient information, leading to improved patient outcomes, better patient engagement, and better
access to critical information across the care continuum. ■ A notable ROI, with most organisations reporting a full return on their ECM investment within 18 months of implementation. Administrative capture in the back office
For archiving and digitizing large volumes
Ideal for I.D. capture
Scan securely in the community
Web based document capture and network scanning
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For more information on our scanning solutions visit – www.pfu-emea.ricoh.com
Is old technology putting the NHS at risk? Windows operating systems often reach their end of life and whilst Microsoft may end their mainstream support it can take a while for extended support to finish (Windows 7 ended at the start of 2020 and Windows 8.1 last month). A lot of healthcare trusts and organisations still have computers which are running old OS versions and unless you want to pay additional expensive support fees from Microsoft, this means there are no more bug fixes or security patches which leaves technology significantly more susceptible to viruses and malware attacks. Malware attacks on hospitals, are increasing rapidly year on year and with some of the most sensitive and personal medical information stored on hospital computers, alongside critical system infrastructure, it’s crucial to make sure your IT department is keeping your software up to date. Additionally with the proliferation of home working where possible within the sector it has never been more important to ensure the upmost security of critical data, enabling increased collaboration, compliance, access rights and speedier decision making. Combined with this security threat, there is also the chance that your newer hardware may no longer work with older Windows Operating Systems, leading to time wasted on troubleshooting, and your capital expenditure sitting there unused like an expensive paperweight!
New technology offers time and cost saving benefits Technology continues to advance, and you may also be missing out on time-saving new features and services available on newer equipment. Ricoh have continued to innovate and their latest scanner models have a range of new benefits which can save time and money for NHS Trusts. For example, the RICOH fi-8170 is a scanner with market-leading document image capabilities, offering fast colour scanning at speeds of up to 70 pages per minute. Ground-breaking Clear Image Capture produces image quality that surpasses other available technologies, resulting in industry-leading OCR accuracy rates. The fi-8040 also sees reduced power consumption and state-of-the-art Automatic Separation Control that consistently delivers the perfect feed. Further innovations such as iSOP (intelligent Sonic Paper Protection) will even listen to the paper as it passes through the scanner, listening for anomalies like staples or paper clips which may cause paper jams or sub-optimal image capture. Recently launched, the RICOH fi-8040 scanner is your connection to effortless, quality and intuitive capture, the fi-8040 delivers industry-leading OCR accuracy rates, with multiple options for connecting via a network, or to an individual PC using USB. And its 10.9cm colour touchscreen and DirectScan application, enable PCless scanning directly to workflows or email addresses, saving both time and effort. To find out more about the latest Ricoh scanners, please visit https://www.pfu-emea.ricoh.com/ or call 020 8573 4444. Download our “Scanning As An Enabler For Digital Transformation report” and understand how information capture is enabling digital transformation success https://www.pfu-emea.ricoh.com/en-gb/news/2023/quocirca-report
The potential of barcodes to transform patient safety For international healthcare systems, improving patient safety and care are fundamental. However, Never Event data published by NHS England shows that every week the wrong implant is placed in someone’s body One of the causes of such an error is a lack of traceability – the inability to uniquely identify and trace products and medical devices throughout the supply chain, coupled with the inability to accurately track them to the right patient at the point of care. The PIP breast implant scandal1, metal-on-metal hips2, and The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review3 each provide significant evidence of the harmful repercussions for patient safety. Based on the unique identification of people, products and places, GS1 standards are being used in clinical settings to accurately track products to patients using barcodes – a programme known as Scan4Safety4. Information is captured in near real time when the barcode is scanned and details are updated in relevant systems. NHS acute trusts in England are already applying these principles to transform patient safety locally but only at a national scale can this afford the full levels of traceability required. The call for national change A recent investigation from The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) into the selection and insertion of vascular grafts in haemodialysis patients5 reports, “Barcode scanning technology (Scan4Safety) can be used to mitigate the risk of an incorrect medical device being selected/inserted.” It has been more than three years since the IMMDS Review and though progress has been made towards the Medical Device Outcome Registry (MDOR)6, a fully centralised patientidentifiable database is yet to become a reality. In June 2023, the government issued a mandate to NHS England7 to “adopt barcode scanning of high-risk medical devices for
submission to the national, mandatory MDOR”. This marks a significant step for the comprehensive monitoring of patient outcomes following procedures and provides improved efficiencies in the event of product recalls. Scan4Safety and the MDOR can work in tandem to improve the traceability of medical devices from manufacture through to the patient. This relies heavily on unique identification as suppliers need to ensure unique device identifiers (UDIs) are issued to their products. More than 95 per cent8 are already using GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) to do so. Conclusion The success of the MDOR relies on accurate, quality data. The unique identification of patients, clinicians, medical devices, and locations will be core to this. Standardised processes need to be established to ensure best practice is translated across all hospitals to ensure efficient traceability and interoperability. L FURTHER INFORMATION
L EF Find out more about Scan4Safety and GS1 standards in healthcare at: www.gs1uk.org/healthcare References 1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pip-implants/ 2. https://www.gov.uk/drug-device-alerts/all-metal-on-metal-momhip-replacements-updated-advice-for-follow-up-of-patients 3. https://www.immdsreview.org.uk/Report.html 4. https://healthcare.gs1uk.org/scan4safety/ 5. https://hsib-kqcco125-media.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/ documents/hsib-report-the-selection-and-insertionof-vascular-grafts-in-haemodialysis-patients.pdf 6. https://healthbusinessuk.net/news/02062023/ medical-device-outcome-registry-launched 7. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1163067/ government-2023-mandate-to-nhs-england.pdf#page=12 8. https://www.gs1uk.org/insights/news/portsmouth-barcode-survey
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Reaching the virtual ward target The NHS has a target of 40-50 virtual wards per 100,000 people and to have 10,000 virtual beds available in time for winter. But what are virtual wards and how can they be utilised to provide benefits for patients and the health service? Virtual wards enable patients to receive care safely and conveniently at home, rather than in hospital. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently published draft guidance on the use of virtual wards to treat patients with an acute respiratory infection. The guidance states that people with an acute respiratory infection (ARI) could be monitored from their own homes using technology platforms that will feedback vital information on their condition to clinical staff. A patient’s temperature, heart rate, oxygen saturation,
blood pressure, and respiratory rate can all be monitored and fed back to healthcare professionals, often automatically. The technology means that people can be discharged from hospital earlier or monitored from home without being admitted in the first place, freeing up hospital beds. Benefits Evidence has also shown that virtual wards can be cost saving for the NHS. Analysis by NICE’s external assessment group estimated the technologies saved around £872 per person E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Virtual wards help reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections F compared with inpatient care, and £115 per person compared with care at home without a technology-enabled virtual ward. Virtual wards are now an important part of the health service, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic - and they offer numerous benefits, including improved accessibility, reduced healthcare costs, and enhanced patient engagement. As mentioned above, by reducing the need for a patient to be cared for in hospital, this significantly reduces the costs associated with their care. This also frees up a hospital bed for someone else who may need it. Virtual wards can reduce wait times for consultations and follow-up appointments, ensuring that patients receive timely care and support. Wait times can be reduced for those using the virtual wards, as well as those on traditional ward, as fewer people will be waiting for ward beds.
Virtual wards also have several benefits for the patients that use them in terms of conveniency and comfort, as well as health outcomes. Virtual wards allow patients to receive medical care from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for frequent hospital visits. This convenience is great for individuals with chronic illnesses or mobility issues. Virtual wards empower patients to take a more active role in managing their own health. Patients can access their health data, communicate with healthcare providers, and engage in self-care practices. Virtual wards can address geographic differences or barriers in access to healthcare, allowing patients in remote or underserved areas to access high-quality healthcare services without the need to travel long distances. When it comes to patient outcomes, virtual wards can offer improved continuity of care by providing a seamless transition from hospital to home-based care. This ensures that patients receive consistent and uninterrupted care, reducing the likelihood of complications or readmissions. Continuous monitoring in virtual wards allows for early detection of health issues and therefore timely intervention. Clinicians can address problems before they get worse, and potentially prevent serious complications. Virtual wards help reduce the risk of hospitalacquired infections. This is especially important for individuals with compromised immune systems or when there is a flu or Covid outbreak – which is likely over the winter period. Making a success NHS Confederation recently published a report on virtual wards, which set out the critical factors needed to make virtual wards a sustainable model in the future. The report follows research involving a range of NHS leaders, including integrated care system (ICS) chairs and chief executives, integrated care board (ICB) digital leads, clinicians, and senior operational and finance staff. When it comes to virtual wards, the report claims that it is important that staffing is properly planned, with permanent and secondment-based opportunities for clinical staff. It is hoped this will reinforce virtual wards as a permanent service which can offer real benefits to career development. Students should also get experience of virtual wards, as well as traditional placements.
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It is important to regularly gather feedback from both patients and clinicians to identify areas for improvement
The report states that virtual ward expansion needs to be treated holistically and on a large scale in order to share best practice and learn from other programmes. At the same time, local data should be used to make bespoke, local healthcare decisions that address the needs of that population in every ICS. When planning virtual wards, the report says that clinicians and patients should be involved in the design. However, the report also recognises a workforce and skills shortage, which is having an impact on the health service’s ability to fully develop and deliver virtual wards. Before considering a virtual ward programme, there are several things to take into account. Effective communication is essential to virtual wards. Trusts should ensure that they have secure and user-friendly communication tools in place in order to interact with patients and clinicians. Video consultations, secure messaging, and chatbots can help bridge the gap between patients and healthcare professionals. Foster collaboration among healthcare professionals as well. Virtual wards can bring together many people involved in a patient’s care to provide holistic treatment. Virtual wards generate a wealth of patient data. To make the most of this information, programme operators should invest in suitable data integration and analytics tools. These can be used to identify trends, predict patient needs, and personalise treatment plans, and therefore
improve patient outcomes and save money. However, it is also important that this data is kept secure. Ensure that robust cybersecurity measures are in place to protect patient data, adhere to relevant data protection regulations, and maintain patient trust. Empowering patients with knowledge is essential in virtual wards. Providers should offer easily accessible educational resources, so patients know what options are available to them and can make informed decisions. It is important to regularly gather feedback from both patients and clinicians to identify areas for improvement. Virtual wards should be agile and responsive and adapt to changing healthcare needs and technology advancements. It is clear that virtual wards offer several benefits for both patients and the health service as a whole. However, it is important that proper resources, staffing and planning is in place before embarking on a virtual ward project. NHS England has lots of resources and guidance available online. L
EXPERT PANEL UNLOCKING THE POWER OF INTEGRATIONS: TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE IN THE DIGITAL AGE
In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare, the terms ‘integration’ and ‘interoperability’ have become ever-increasingly popular buzzwords – and for good reason. Their significance cannot be underestimated, as they are driving transformative changes in the industry
Mark Fewster, chief product officer, Radar Healthcare
Mike Taylor, chief technology officer, Radar Healthcare
Rhian Bulmer, chief partnerships officer, Radar Healthcare
Mark combines innovative ideas and partner engagement for excellent technical execution of Radar Healthcare’s product and its development. With 18+ years in change management, product development, business analysis and intelligence, he’s committed to delivering valuable real-world solutions, ensuring our healthcare partners make a real difference.
Mike leverages a decade of tech leadership to drive business improvement. With a strong background in software development, he excels in team building across tech stacks. Mike’s drive for innovation is evident in his history of enhancing quality and efficiency through systems. He ensures that Radar Healthcare remains an industry leader in technological productivity.
Rhian, an experienced chief partnerships officer in health and social care, champions technology-driven healthcare efficiency. Her career spans various healthcare sectors, giving her a deep understanding of industry challenges. She prioritises customer-centric decisionmaking and offers valuable insights into tech innovation for improved healthcare outcomes.
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Overcoming barriers to integration in healthcare Integration is essential in healthcare to streamline workflows, improve data accuracy, and enhance the overall efficiency and quality of care. However, they often encounter significant barriers, encompassing both strategic and technological aspects. Mike Taylor, chief technology officer at Radar Healthcare, notes that a common hurdle is often the lack of a clear strategy within healthcare organisations and at the national level: “Often the strategies that are more easily demonstrated will be prioritised first, and sometimes IT considerations are left as an afterthought. Involving the right people in earlier calls and meetings can lead to more effective planning than when left to the end without prior knowledge. It’s essential to recognise that integration work is often behind the scenes – it just happens, and people may easily overlook it. I’ve learned that having the necessary stakeholders with specialist skills engaged in the early technological conversations can help assess the resource and technological requirements, especially
As highlighted in a recent article by Digital Health News (June 2023), the healthcare sector faces a pressing need for a new ‘layer cake’ approach to interoperability. But how do integration and interoperability differ, and why are they often mentioned together? Integration enables the translation of data across different systems, essentially combining them into a unified whole, while interoperability allows these integrated systems to communicate and interact with each other in a meaningful and effective way. Together, this ensures seamless data exchange and connectivity between disparate systems, software, and technologies, which is paramount for modern healthcare. Radar Healthcare, an award-winning risk, quality, and compliance provider, has invested in developing an Open API & Orchestration tooling for seamless connectivity in the healthcare industry. These powerful tools enable them to integrate with any willing provider, making them a key player in the effort to streamline healthcare processes and improve patient outcomes. In this expert panel, we delve into the world of healthcare integrations, exploring barriers to automation, its potential, and the transformative impact on patient outcomes.
It’s essential to recognise that integration work is often behind the scenes in cases of outdated legacy systems where expertise may be limited to a few individuals.” The quest for a single source of truth Achieving a single source of truth is pivotal in enabling healthcare professionals to excel. It ensures that all systems draw from one central piece of software, facilitating data standardisation and reducing errors. For instance, by using a Microsoft Network as the primary active directory for staff and an electronic patient record (EPR) system for patients, data can be seamlessly integrated into Radar Healthcare to establish that ‘one source of truth’, increasing visibility, accessibility, reporting and communication across an organisation. “The impact is massive,” says Mike Taylor, chief technology officer. “By pulling in data that’s already there, you’re creating standardisations for all your staff, which ultimately results in a reduction of data input errors, less time spent on administrative tasks, allowing more time for workers to spend with patients. Additionally, you also have the reassurance that you’re leaving an auditable trial, as all the data comes from one place. The benefits are endless.” E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Technology powered healthcare can support the quest for excellence, but tech is the tool, not the whole focus F Innovate UK collaboration: pioneering integration Mark Fewster, chief product officer at Radar Healthcare, shares how Radar Healthcare is harnessing the power of interoperability and collaborating with Innovate UK to drive meaningful change in the care sector: “We’ve been awarded funding by Innovate UK to develop a workflow system that will drive action and interventions in the care sector to significantly enhance care delivery. The care sector has numerous data sources, and there is a need to integrate and analyse this data, but this is a significant resource drain in a sector already facing labour shortages. Most importantly, this system will improve the quality of care outside the hospital and help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.” Collaborating with suppliers to Empower staff and patients Working in partnership with tech providers and specialists across the sector is something Radar Healthcare believes provides the best possible experience for its customers. By joining forces with providers in Care Planning and Electronic Patient Records, streamlined data can be turned into actionable insights with real-time implementation through
Radar Healthcare’s workflow engine. This process results in transformative change across the healthcare industry. Rhian Bulmer, chief partnerships officer at Radar Healthcare, says: “At Radar Healthcare, we’re bringing some of the most powerful healthcare platforms together so our end-users can truly utilise their data for meaningful impact. Technology powered healthcare can support the quest for excellence, but tech is the tool, not the whole focus. The only way to make a complex system like health and social care work is through strong partnerships and collaboration.” These partnerships are just an example of how integration can be used to meet the needs and requirements of healthcare professionals. However, there are several other noteworthy advantages associated with this and interoperability. A less obvious benefit is its potential to drive improvements in population health management through reporting and actionable insights. By identifying and addressing population health trends, healthcare providers can develop better preventive care strategies, leading to improved community health outcomes. Integration offers a way of standardising data across all health and social care sectors, from charities to local authorities, dental services to the NHS. Health technology providers with expertise and interoperability capabilities are essential to achieving this standardisation. Leveraging AI and Machine Learning Many health tech companies are now utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to address challenges faced by pressured
healthcare staff. Intelligent analytics enable actions to be triggered directly from realtime data, saving staff hours of analysis. By monitoring data patterns and using this data to create events and automate notifications for concerns that need immediate attention, healthcare providers can improve operational intelligence across one or multiple organisations, significantly improving their services. Innovative systems, like Radar Healthcare are at the forefront of this, leveraging AI and machine learning to consolidate data and pinpoint why an incident has happened or where the potential risks lie. Through these technologies, healthcare teams and professionals are empowered to be more proactive and less reactive, resulting in more efficient and effective care delivery. Looking ahead: the future of healthcare integration The future of healthcare integration is a promising frontier that holds the potential for significant advancements in care and outcomes. As we look ahead, several key factors will shape the trajectory of healthcare integration. Firstly, emerging trends and technologies are set to play a pivotal role. Innovations like IHI Triggers, which aggregate insights from a wide range of data sources, offer a comprehensive view of patient health and risk factors. These triggers provide invaluable real-time information, alerting healthcare teams to potential patient risks and enabling swift interventions when needed. Moreover, the continuous feedback loop of learning and improvement ensures that
each incident is an opportunity to enhance care delivery and drive positive outcomes. The path to realising these advancements lies in collaboration and industry partnerships. The healthcare landscape is complex and multifaceted, with various stakeholders contributing to patient care. Collaboration between healthcare providers, technology companies, regulatory bodies, and patient advocates is essential for ensuring that healthcare integration initiatives are effective and aligned with the evolving needs of the industry. As we move forward, it is imperative to harness the power of collaboration to drive innovation and shape the future of healthcare integration. By embracing emerging technologies, such as IHI Triggers, machine learning, and AI, and fostering partnerships that prioritise those being cared for, we can pave the way for a healthcare ecosystem that continuously improves, enhances care, and ultimately saves lives. The journey toward a more integrated and interconnected healthcare system is a collective endeavour—one that holds the promise of a safer world for all. L
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Introducing SMS Technology: revolutionising manufacturing operations In the dynamic landscape of manufacturing, streamlined operations are paramount. That’s where SMS Technology comes into play, offering a groundbreaking solution that transcends the challenges of data fragmentation and operational bottlenecks real-time data insights, compliance assurance, and optimised resource allocation. Unleash the potential Imagine a manufacturing environment where administrative burdens fade away, where data-driven decisions fuel progress, and where collaboration flourishes. SMS Technology doesn’t just imagine it – we make it a reality. Join us in reshaping the manufacturing industry, transforming factories into hubs of excellence, sustainability, and collaboration. Our shop floor management software isn’t just a tool; it’s a catalyst for change in the manufacturing and engineering industry. Empowering excellence through innovation With a steadfast commitment to revolutionising manufacturing operations, SMS Technology’s software empowers industrial facilities to thrive in an era of increasing complexity. We understand that efficient operations are the cornerstone of exceptional performance. That’s why we’ve harnessed cutting-edge cloud-based technology to streamline processes, reduce waste, and enhance overall efficiency. Your path to transformation In an industry where every minute counts, our software becomes your beacon of efficiency. Seamlessly integrating departments, optimising workflows, and ensuring compliance, SMS Technology’s solution is your key to unlocking enhanced performance. Join the revolution As the manufacturing and engineering industry pioneers innovative solutions, we invite you to collaborate with us in revolutionising factory floors and industrial operations. By embracing SMS Technology, you become part of a movement that champions integrated information management,
Your partner in progress In this era of rapid change, the manufacturing and engineering industry knows that innovation is the lifeblood of progress. SMS Technology is your partner in this journey, offering scalable and customisable solutions tailored to your unique needs. From small workshops to expansive production facilities, our software adapts to your demands. Seize the opportunity Today, we extend a call to arms to the manufacturing and engineering industry leaders. Your expertise can catalyse the transformation of manufacturing operations. Together, we can enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future for the industry. Contact us today Don’t miss out on this chance to be at the forefront of change. Reach out to us at SMS Technology and discover how our shop floor management software can redefine your manufacturing operations. Let’s embark on a journey of innovation, collaboration, and excellence. Together, we’ll shape the future of manufacturing. L FURTHER INFORMATION
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Leveraging intelligent automation to improve cancer care: a step towards meeting NHS targets In today’s healthcare world, where demand for services continues to grow, Leeds Teaching Hospitals has embarked on a mission to use intelligent automation as a solution to address the pressing issues of delivering effective cancer care in the face of increasing demand and staffing constraints By automating critical tasks such as patient tracking, data entry and diagnostic processes, Leeds Teaching Hospitals is redefining the way it works. This innovative approach not only streamlines healthcare operations, but also frees healthcare professionals to focus on what they do best: providing timely and efficient patient care.
The NHS and the challenge of increasing demand The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems worldwide, and the NHS was no exception. In the journey towards recovery, a substantial surge in activity emerged, accompanied by an influx of referrals, E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
F particularly in suspected cancer cases, demanding rapid processing. Concurrently, outpatient and radiology appointments faced prolonged waiting times. The strain on administrative teams, notably those in Outpatient Scheduling and Cancer Services, became increasingly apparent. As a result, various aspects of the service provided by these teams began to deteriorate, negatively impacting patient care, increasing clinical risk and hindering the Trust’s ability to meet performance targets. Data quality and reporting of referral to treatment (RTT) and cancer waiting times (CWT) also suffered. The situation was exacerbated by everincreasing referral numbers and the development of cancer pathways, which placed an even greater workload on the Cancer Tracking Team. Staffing levels in this team were insufficient to support the frequency of pathway monitoring required to support effective pathway coordination. The role of intelligent automation in revolutionising cancer care The cancer team at Leeds Teaching Hospital receives a large number of referrals, and to ease the burden, Intelligent Automation proved to be an efficient solution to these multi-faceted challenges. With the support of E18 Innovation as their automation partner, here’s how
Intelligent Automation proved to be an efficient solution to these multifaceted challenges
Intelligent Automation is revolutionising cancer care, helping Leeds Teaching Hospitals support efforts to deliver key targets and paving the way for improved clinical outcomes. Firstly, it expedites diagnoses, with the goal of diagnosing more cases at manageable stages 1 or 2 by 2028, promising better outcomes and curative possibilities. Secondly, it enhances patient tracking and data management, granting healthcare professionals rapid access to results and patient data, thereby improving decision-making and patient care quality. Lastly, it plays a pivotal role in achieving the 31and 62-day treatment targets by streamlining administrative processes, ensuring quicker access to necessary treatments for cancer patients. One compelling example of this transformation is the application of automation in the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) process, a vital tool in early colorectal cancer detection. Through automation, FIT testing becomes more efficient by systematically collecting and logging patient samples, directly managing data from FIT kits, facilitating instant result reporting, scheduling follow-up tests based on results, conducting data analytics, reducing patient wait times, sending patient reminders, integrating with other health systems, ensuring quality E
“Our mission at Leeds Teaching Hospitals has always been to deliver timely, efficient, and highquality patient care”
The roadmap for the future of cancer care in the NHS is bold F assurance, and optimising resource allocation. In summary, automation streamlines the FIT process, ensuring timely, accurate, and efficient testing — crucial in early colorectal cancer detection and treatment. Ruby Ali, associate director of operations at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, emphasises the transformative impact of automation on patient care, setting new benchmarks for the NHS in early diagnosis, treatment times, and healthcare standards: “Our mission at Leeds Teaching Hospitals has always been to deliver timely, efficient, and high-quality patient care. Facing the unprecedented challenges of our
times, we turned to intelligent automation, ensuring that despite the increasing demand, we do not waver in our commitment. […] I’m proud to say that in Leeds, the future of cancer care isn’t just promising; it’s already unfolding. The strides we’ve made in improving early diagnosis, reducing treatment times, and prioritising patient care have set new benchmarks for the NHS. Through innovative solutions, we’re not only working towards meeting our objectives – we’re reimagining the very standards of healthcare delivery.” The roadmap for the future of cancer care in the NHS is bold, especially with the recent changes to targets, but intelligent automation is helping Leeds Teaching Hospitals streamline cancer care pathways. In conclusion, intelligent automation isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a potential lifeline for the NHS and its patients. By pioneering this revolutionary approach, Leeds Teaching Hospitals serves as an inspiring example of how technology can be used to overcome challenges and pave the way for a better future in cancer care. The benefits at Leeds are threefold: improved early diagnosis, faster results and better patient tracking, and shorter treatment times. By harnessing the power of automation, Leeds Teaching Hospitals is making positive strides towards meeting its targets, as well as setting new standards in the delivery of efficient, timely and patient-centred care, freeing up staff to do what they do best - patient care. It’s more than a step forward; it’s a leap towards a more responsive and resilient healthcare system. L
Quality & innovation Your specialist for medical devices in the field of tracheostomy & laryngectomy
PercuTrach® Sets for percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy
Standardized method in intensive medical treatment Available for different dilation techniques (with conically shaped dilator or tracheal forceps) Available in combination with different types of tracheostomy tubes Different tube options possible (with or without suction function; with or without sieving) Special tube options for MRI patients
Halberstadt Medizintechnik GmbH Straße des 20. Juli 1 D - 38820 Halberstadt Phone +49 (0) 3941 - 668 6 Fax. +49 (0) 3941 - 245 65 www.primed-halberstadt.de firstname.lastname@example.org
EXPERT PANEL PROCUREMENT FOR PERCUTANEOUS DILATION – WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CONSIDER?
HB spoke to Rainer Oemcke, sales manager, and Elke Labonte, clinic consultant, product specialist tracheotomy at Primed Halberstadt Medizintechnik GmbH about percutaneous dilation and what to consider when procuring and preparing for these procedures
Elke Labonte Clinic consultant, product specialist tracheotomy Primed Halberstadt Medizintechnik GmbH
Rainer Oemcke Sales manager Primed Halberstadt Medizintechnik GmbH
Elke Labonte is an experienced product specialist in the field of tracheostomy and laryngectomy. Over 23 years, she has been working with patients and providers and knows various areas of the business, from medical care in hospitals or home care, up to strategic sales management and intelligent product placement. She has worked with all big players in the business and has an excellent feeling for even the subtle differences in product design.
Rainer Oemcke leads the day-to-day operational activities and the commercial team at Primed. He is in constant contact with hospitals and home-care customers and supports the sales representatives with words and deeds. Due to his extensive experience in the health care market and his profound product expertise, he plays a key role in driving the sale of medical devices, especially in the field of tracheostomy laryngectomy.
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Percutaneous dilation is generally used when a patient needs ventilation for a longer period of time. In explaining percutaneous dilation, Rainer said: “Percutaneous dilation can be used as a planned or emergency procedure. By now it belongs to the standardised methods in intensive medical treatment. Since it is caried out at the bedside, no special procedures, such as surgery, are required. The dilated tracheostoma closes spontaneously and long-term cosmetic results are far superior to conventional tracheostomy.” When utilised appropriately, the method has its benefits, as Elke explains: “Percutaneous dilatation can be done at the bedside, meaning while the patient lies in bed in the ICU. This minimises the costs because no surgery or anaesthesiologist is needed. So no stressful anaesthesia is necessary. Furthermore, the procedure is very gentle on patients and can even be used on multi-morbid patients. There is also a low risk of infections and the treatment barely leads to any pain, especially compared to the classic surgical incision. Another advantage is that the prevention of VAP can start earlier because the bronchial toilet is facilitated. Weaning from the respirator can also be planned much better because the patient doesn’t require further sedation and can take part more actively and be cooperative. Different from the use of endotracheal tubes, patients switched to tracheostomy tubes start to eat and drink again earlier, which also makes mobilisation much easier.” Rainer added: “This method is used for patients with long-term ventilation, in order to switch them from endotracheal tubes
Percutaneous dilation can be used as a planned or emergency procedure to tracheostomy tubes, which has a lot of advantages in terms of bronchial toilet and also offers much more quality of life for the patient because they then have the possibility to eat and speak again. It is also used for patients in danger of aspiration and dysphagia, patients with mechanical airway obstruction or malformations of the respiratory tract or for patients who have a reduction of dead space for pulmonological and cardiological reasons.” E
In general, the duration of the stay in ICU becomes shorter thanks to the percutaneous dilatation, which again could cut down costs F Continuing on from this, Elke said: “There are fewer complications during cannula changes. And the permanent irritation of the vocal cords and larynx ,which might lead to damage or inflammations of these structures when endotracheal tubes are used, is omitted. But the best thing is that patients who received a tracheostomy tube by percutaneous dilation are given the option to regain the possibility to speak with the help of a speaking valve. Here different options are on the market, like speaking valves for ventilated patients (e.g. Primedi-Phon Vent), which allow an early start of phonation training, or later, when ventilation is no longer needed, speaking valves for tracheostomised patients like Primedi-Phon Plus or TwinPhon, which also features an individually adjustable breathing resistance. “In general, the duration of the stay in ICU becomes shorter thanks to the percutaneous dilatation, which again could cut down costs.” What options are available? When it comes to procuring the equipment for these procedures, there are several options available. It is important to make the right
choice in consultation with clinical decision makers. Elke points out: “Percutaneous dilation sets come either with or without a cannula. The preferred sets contain a tracheostomy tube with a suitable insertion aid (like PercuTrach PDT Set type 1). There are sets with spiral reinforcement, suction function, phonation and extended length (e.g. PercuTrach sets with Priflex PercuTrach, Priflex MRI PercuTrach, ProLine, ProLine XT, Optima). And there is a suitable cannula for every patient.” Rainer added: “The most common way to create a tracheostoma is the percutaneous dilatation. Here especially, two techniques are established and most commonly used, the dilation technique with dilator according to Ciaglia and the one with forceps according to Griggs. The Ciaglia method is the most favourable among the two. “The dilation sets on the market come either with or without a tracheostomy tube included. For me, the preferred sets contain a tracheostomy tube with insertion aid perfectly matched to the tube and it best comes with long handle. Of course the treating physician is responsible for the choice of tube and here the choice depends on whether a patient needs to be ventilated or is in danger of aspiration (hypersalivation etc.).” Procurement When it comes to procurement, there are several things to consider, and it’s important
to take clinical guidance into account when doing so. Rainer commented: “Usually you have the choice between individual components or a complete set. Accordingly, it may be necessary for hospitals to keep different tracheostomy tubes in stock. Here also it is best to have a tube with atraumatic inserter, which makes handling much easier. The Percutrach range for example includes four types of tracheostomy tubes with multiple subtypes for various individual requirements (with/without reinforcement, with/without suction function, with/without sieving). “In case of further planned therapies for the patient, like MRI or radiation therapy, a special tube which contains no metal part is highly recommended. One option here would be Priflex MRI Percutrach.” Elke added: “For MRI patients, a set with plastic spiral and without any metal parts is best suited.” Preparing for the procedure Finally, talk turned to preparing for a percutaneous dilation procedure and what clinicians should consider. Elke highlighted: “The team should have experience with the PDT procedure, as it can also lead to complications such as bleeding, rupture of tracheal braces or oedema. The anatomical conditions of patients also need to
be checked during the treatment, if necessary through X-ray or bronchoscopy. Even though the procedure can be done at bedside, compliance with sterile precautions must still be ensured.” Rainer added: “If possible, the clinicians should inform the patient and/or relatives. They should have also in mind the duration of the planned therapy that may require a tracheostomy tube. In cases of long-term ventilation, the use of percutaneous dilatation has to be considered in order to switch from an endotracheal tube to a tracheostomy tube. They should also check if a complete set of products (dilation set and suitable tracheostomy tube) are in stock or available. “During the treatment of course the control of the anatomical conditions must be guaranteed, possibly also by means of ultrasound and bronchoscopy. “Percutaneous dilation can be carried out on the hospital ward, in the patient’s bed. Nevertheless, care must be taken to ensure that sterile tracheostomy tubes are used.” Of course as with any clinical procedure, it is important to follow clinical guidelines, discuss with your team and do what is best for the patient in that situation. Buyers should discuss with clinicians when making decisions on what to procure for different procedures. L FURTHER INFORMATION
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Acknowledging the impact of medical equipment waste The use of and therefore waste generated from small medical equipment, particularly that which is single use, can pose problems environmentally and economically. While each individual case may not seem that consequential, the collective impact is significant Small medical equipment includes equipment that monitors blood pressure, glucose, gluten, sleep and pulse rates and items such as inhalers, defibrillators, oxygen machines, smart thermometers, infusion pumps, intraoral cameras, electrical thermal pads and other pain
relief devices, small surgical tools, insulin pens, catheters and more. Environment Small medical equipment can contain materials that are difficult to recycle including plastics, E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT Sawblades
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F batteries and other electronic components. If not disposed of appropriately, these materials pose a problem to the environment. The manufacturing of single-use small medical equipment also poses the risk of depleting resources including metals, plastics and energy. With the health service’s aim of net zero and sustainability, single-use medical equipment is at odds with this. Cost The monetary cost can also be significant with single-use medical equipment and can drive up healthcare expenses and increase the financial strain on the health service. Health risks The improper disposal of small medical equipment waste can also pose health risks to handlers and the general public. This is particularly the case with needles and sharps. However, there is also the risk presented by the accumulation of medical waste in landfills which can be a hotspot for disease. While these problems do exist, there are ways to combat them and reduce the impact of small medical equipment waste.
When single-use devices are necessary, advocate for efficiency
Solutions This first is designing for reuse and encouraging the development and use of devices that can be sterilised and reused multiple times without compromising patient safety. While these devices may have a higher upfront cost, they can reduce long-term waste and expenses. Another option is to switch to sustainable materials in the manufacture of medical devices. Biodegradable or easily recyclable materials can significantly reduce the environmental impact of these devices. It is important that recycling programmes exist and are effective inside healthcare facilities. These need to include plastics, metals, batteries and sharps. When single-use devices are necessary, advocate for efficiency. Design packaging that minimises material waste, and optimise inventory management to reduce overordering and excess waste. E
The participants are working together to identify the challenges and barriers to the circular use of medical devices F It is also important to educate and train staff in proper waste segregation and disposal practices, as this reduces the likelihood of hazardous medical waste contaminating regular waste streams. Engage with medical device manufacturers to encourage sustainable design practices and support eco-friendly initiatives. Circular economy The EPSRC-funded CirculaR economy of small Medical devices (ReMed) project is led by the Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling Technologies (SMART) at Loughborough University. It brings together experts from Loughborough’s Business School, School of Design and Creative Arts and Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering and colleagues from Leeds. The participants are working together to identify the challenges and barriers to the circular use of medical devices and also developing potential sustainable solutions. At the moment, the recovery, reuse and recycling of small medical devices is limited – and there are many reasons why. Principally, there is the fear of cross contamination and infection. Many items are designed as single use to reduce infection risks. However, as well as this, if recycling and reprocessing is possible, either this information
is not available or the systems are not in place to facilitate it. The researchers at ReMed have reported that reprocessing small medical equipment could deliver potential savings of around 50 per cent, significantly reducing NHS costs. The project is exploring different possibilities to drive the move to the circular use of resources and materials. These options include novel design and material specifications along with safe and sustainable reprocessing technologies. L
EXPERT PANEL PROTECTING SPECIMENS ON LAST MILE DELIVERIES
Health Business spoke to Mr Marnick Dewilde and Dr Erica Monfardini from B Medical Systems about safeguarding biospecimens and pharmaceuticals
Mr. Marnick Dewilde, chief sales officer, B Medical Systems
Dr. Erica Monfardini, director of data and partnerships B Medical Systems
Marnick Dewilde oversees worldwide sales of medical refrigeration and blood management solutions. With 30+ years’ experience, he led sales, business operations, and commercial excellence. Formerly chief commercial officer at Molecular Plasma Group and holding various roles at DuPont Luxembourg, including Ebola outbreak response in 2014-2015.
Dr. Monfardini combines science and business experience. She graduated in Veterinary Medicine and has a PhD. She gained extensive experience at Baxter healthcare, then joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a director. Later, she served as director of administration and finance at the University of Luxembourg and now works for B Medical Systems.
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We began by discussing the importance of the proper safeguarding of biospecimens and pharmaceuticals and what the potential repercussions are if this is not done. It is essential that both biospecimens and pharmaceuticals are safeguarded, so they can be used for their intended purpose. Marnick said: “The proper safeguarding of biospecimens and pharmaceuticals is pivotal for both scientific and health reasons. Biospecimens, such as tissue samples, blood, and DNA, hold genetic information, cellular details, and other crucial data which, if preserved accurately, can yield reliable research outcomes. Pharmaceutical products contain specific compounds designed to interact with the human body in precise ways; their integrity ensures their efficacy and safety.” Erica added: “This is all about thermodynamics and molecular integrity: when temperatures are high, molecules and atoms move faster, causing chemical reactions to happen more often, and some to break. The result is an alteration of critical molecules such as enzymes for drug development purposes due to metabolic reactions. This is why when we want to keep something stable, we must keep it cold. The temperature required then varies depending on the chemical bonds needing protection. For example, cell layer is composed by lipids, which are extremely sensitive to heat. Seemingly, the lipid (fat) layer covering the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine produced by Pfizer was very fragile and required storage temperatures reaching -80°C.” If biospecimens and pharmaceuticals are not stored and safeguarded appropriately, the consequences can be severe. Marnick said: “Pharmaceuticals can degrade, resulting in reduced potency. This compromises the treatment’s effectiveness, leading to potential therapeutic failures. Similarly, if biospecimens degrade, they might not yield accurate research results. “Similarly, if biospecimens that are used for clinical trials or drug development degrade due to changes in temperatures, they can lead to wrong results on drug or active principle tests, endangering patients.” He pointed out the significant financial losses that can occur if valuable biospecimens or pharmaceutical batches become unusable and that research can also be affected if a specimen loses integrity. Erica said: “Mishandling can lead to the wastage of precious resources. Rare
The proper safeguarding of biospecimens and pharmaceuticals is pivotal for both scientific and health reasons biospecimens, once lost or compromised, might be irreplaceable, stalling crucial research.” Marnick said: “Degraded or contaminated samples can lead to false results, delaying scientific advancements and possible breakthroughs. “Healthcare and research institutions risk damaging their reputation if they distribute ineffective drugs or publish inaccurate research findings based on compromised biospecimens.” Erica agreed with Marnick’s points and added: “Patients trust medical institutions and pharmacies to provide safe and effective treatments. If biospecimens and pharmaceuticals aren’t properly safeguarded, it can lead to patient distrust, a critical issue in healthcare. “Improper handling or storage can violate regulations and standards set by health organisations, leading to potential legal consequences and sanctions for institutions.” Ensuring temperature control Following on from this, we discussed the best way to ensure temperature control and monitoring on last mile deliveries and maintain the integrity of biospecimens and pharmaceuticals. Erica said: “Maintaining temperature control and consistent monitoring during lastmile deliveries is crucial, particularly when transporting items sensitive to temperature fluctuations. A holistic approach involves a E Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Preparing for the transportation of pharmaceuticals or samples requires meticulous planning and consideration to ensure the products remain stable, uncontaminated, and viable during transit F combination of advanced technologies and logistics strategies. Smart packaging solutions that integrate temperature-regulating materials can play a pivotal role. “Technological advancements in telemetry allow for the incorporation of wireless temperature sensors within packages, offering continuous feedback on the internal conditions. This becomes especially significant when there are unexpected delays, as it allows for proactive interventions based on real-time data. An example of these solutions is B Medical Systems’ GT Mini Temperature Monitoring System which uses a bluetooth-connected sensor placed inside the transport box.” Marnick added: “Ensuring temperature control and monitoring during last-mile deliveries, especially for temperature-sensitive items like vaccines and other pharmaceuticals is essential. One effective method is using high-quality insulated medical transport boxes that are equipped with phase change materials. These materials maintain the required temperature for extended durations by absorbing or releasing heat during their phase transitions.
“Moreover, the deployment of IoT (Internet of Things) enabled sensors inside packages offers real-time temperature data. These sensors can transmit temperature information to cloud platforms, making monitoring instantaneous through smartphones or computers. Additionally, certain temperature-monitoring devices incorporate geo-fencing features, sending alerts if a delivery vehicle deviates from its route or has extended stops.” Erica also highlighted the need to train staff on the importance of ensuring temperature control: “Moreover, comprehensive training for delivery personnel on the importance of temperature-sensitive deliveries and best practices can make a considerable difference. If people handling the pharmaceutical products know what to do in unforeseen circumstances, the chances of the degradation of the stored biologicals reduce significantly.” Marnick echoed this and emphasised collaboration: “Lastly, a collaborative approach is recommended, partnering with specialised courier services that prioritize and have expertise in maintaining temperatures during delivery. By combining these strategies, businesses can ensure the quality, safety, and integrity of their temperature-sensitive products during the all-important last mile.” Preparing for transportation Of course, in order to reach the last mile, biospecimens and pharmaceuticals need to be properly looked after up until this point, so we talked about how to prepare for transportation. Marnick began: “Preparing for the transportation of pharmaceuticals or samples
requires meticulous planning and consideration to ensure the products remain stable, uncontaminated, and viable during transit. “First and foremost, it’s vital to understand the specific storage and handling requirements of each pharmaceutical product or sample. Some might need refrigeration, while others might demand freezing or ambient conditions. The exact temperature range must be identified and strictly adhered to at all times.” Erica continued: “Transporting pharmaceuticals or samples demands a blend of thoroughness and precision, as these materials are often sensitive to environmental factors. Begin by assessing the stability data of the pharmaceutical or sample. This data, often provided by the manufacturer or laboratory, can guide the selection of appropriate transport mediums and temperature controls. “Next, consider the duration and mode of transportation. For air travel, pressure changes at high altitudes can impact certain samples, while ground transport might pose challenges related to road conditions and transit time. These factors influence the choice of packaging materials, from vacuum-sealed packs to cushioned boxes that offer shock absorption.” Both highlighted the role than technology plays, with Erica pointing out: “Modern tracking systems not only trace the location of the shipment but also monitor internal conditions, alerting handlers in case of any deviation from the desired state.” Marnick added: “For long journeys, one should also consider using temperature data loggers. These devices record temperature fluctuations throughout the transit, providing
accurate historical data which can be essential for quality control checks upon arrival.” Regulatory compliance When we discussed what to consider when procuring services for last mile deliveries, as well as the topics we have previously mentioned like requirements of the product, distance of transportation, and packaging, regulatory compliance was also high on the list. Marnick said: “Furthermore, regulatory compliance can’t be overlooked. Different countries and regions have specific regulations and standards for transporting medical and biological materials, which must be meticulously adhered to.” It is important to remember, that every delivery is different and there is no one-size-fitsall solution. Marnick said: “While certain overarching principles apply to transporting both pharmaceuticals and biospecimens, the nuanced requirements of each product mean decisions often need to be made on a case-bycase basis. Tailoring the transport solution to the specific needs of the product ensures safety, compliance, and effectiveness.” Erica added: “While there are similarities in transporting pharmaceuticals and biospecimens, a one-size-fits-all solution isn’t advisable. The granularity in requirements necessitates a case-by-case assessment to ensure each product’s unique needs are adequately met.” L FURTHER INFORMATION
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Candere Solutions ltd combines commercial roofing and solar PV expertise to assist hospitals in maximising their ability to harness the most sustainable energy efficient gains possible from their roof spaces. By working closely with organisations we assist in the planning, installation and long term maintenance of solar PV systems and the roof spaces they occupy.
ENERGY COBALT GROUP 02086885351 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cobalt Group offers so much more than building services, we provide comprehensive services for any building project; from renovation to new build to manufacturing of aluminium windows and installation of PV panels. Over 20 years experience in working with commercial and residential clients and strong track record of successful projects.
ENERGY NAKED ENERGY +44 20 4542 2230 email@example.com
Supporting the global transition to zero carbon heat, Naked Energy displaces fossil fuels in the commercial and industrial space though high impact, cost effective and versatile solar heat and power technology. The high energy density solutions decarbonise heat affordably, and have been engineered to maximise the potential of roof space by generating more renewable heat per m2 than any other solar technology on the market.
Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
FACILITIES MANAGEMENT D J HILL ENGINEERING 02920 790784 | 07725 947217 firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the Hospital Bedstacker. The Bedstacker is available in 3, 4 and 5 Bed configurations for vertically stacking hospital beds. The Bedstacker has a small footprint with simple push button operation, full safety guarding and safety locking gates. D J Hill Engineering Services Ltd can supply and fit nationwide and also provide extended warranties and servicing.
FACILITIES MANAGEMENT LANES GROUP PLC 0800 526 488 email@example.com Lanes Group can help the NHS by offering services such as CCTV drain surveys, which can identify any issues in the hospital’s drainage systems, such as blockages or leaks. We can then provide solutions such as drain unblocking, repairs, and maintenance to prevent any further damage or disruption to hospital operations. Effective drainage management can improve hygiene and reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections.
FACILITIES MANAGEMENT MGPS SERVICES LTD 0345 652 4901 firstname.lastname@example.org
MGPS Services Ltd are an independent company accredited to ISO 9001:2015 and provide Medical Gas training, AE Services, AP Duties, Testing & Commissioning, Compliance Audits, System Validation & Schematic Drawing, writing of Operational Policies, Project Management and various other Medical Gas Consultancy services.
114 BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS | www.healthbusinessuk.net
FURNITURE ALGEOS 0151 448 1228 email@example.com
The Turn All® System turns any standard bed into an automated lateral turning bed, with an automatic side positioning system 0-30° for pressure ulcer prevention, management and treatment. Comfortable, time efficient, and user-friendly, the Turn All® revolutionises health and care environments with patient well-being and budget constraints in mind
FURNITURE MURRAY EQUIPMENT 01243811881 firstname.lastname@example.org
At Murray’s we provide premium, bespoke medical and dental operator seating in a wide range of colours, with a focus on comfort and infection prevention. All our seating is hand made in the UK. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or email.
LEGIONELLA HYDROSENSE LTD +44 (0)1506 841804 email@example.com
Hydrosense offers easy-to-use rapid onsite Legionella test kits for water and biofilm. Hydrosense ONE detects Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 and Hydrosense PRO detects serogroups 1-15, they are both highly accurate and deliver results in 25 minutes. Hydrosense ensures real-time Legionella knowledge.
Issue 23.5 | HEALTH BUSINESS MAGAZINE
WORKFORCE TROJAN BINS 01684 295782 firstname.lastname@example.org
TROJAN BINS offers a comprehensive range of bins and sack holders covering recycling, the medical sector and external venues. An accredited ISO9001 and ISO14001 business and approved supplier to the NHS. We deliver your needs.
WORKFORCE HOLMES & PARTNERS LTD 01138980360 email@example.com
Navigating the UK’s Visa Application Process is now hassle-free with Holmes & Partners. Our specialised services aid medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and adult social care professionals, in obtaining the required visa for UK healthcare roles. Let us simplify your journey.
MISCELLANEOUS THE SAFER FOOD GROUP 0800 612 6784 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading online training company The Safer Food Group provides food safety training for catering professionals. As an existing preferred supplier to numerous NHS trusts, we provide food safety, allergy awareness, health & safety and HACCP courses at negotiated partnership prices. Existing infrastructure enables immediate access to flexible, learner driven courses, accessible management data and trusted teaching materials.
116 BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS | www.healthbusinessuk.net
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118 BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS | www.healthbusinessuk.net
Since 1998 preOx.RS GmbH develop, manufacture and market innovative single use medical devices. Patient comfort and user benefits are our incentives to develop new, innovative products.We are experts in intensive care and heart/ thoracic surgery with an experince of more than 35 years. Located in the area of Frankfurt we are working with the leading University hospitals in Germany to discover new aproaches of standard therapies and treatments. New product ideas are the results of these partnerships. Only a product which will have a benefit compared to existing products will meet our requirements of innovation. Over the last decades preOx.RS developed several medical devices such as syringes for „Loss of Resistance Technique“ used in epidural treatment kits of international medical device companies. preOx.RS home market is Germany and we are expanding our sales throughout Europe with exclusive or non exclusive distributors. We are looking for new business contacts to expand our business. As a small company preOx is part of an exclusive network of small and mid size medical device manufacturers all over Europe. These partners ensure and guarantee a safe and reliable supply chain. Our customers rely on our service and we take care of it.