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Besam Entrance Solutions Help Prevent the Spread of Infection at Hinchingbrooke Hospital


Besam Limited, the UK’s leading supplier of entrance solutions, is installing thirty automatic door systems for Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust Healthcare. The Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is benefiting from this major installation as part of a £2.5 million ongoing refurbishment of six wards at the site. Each refurbished ward consists of five bays, and each of the five bays will feature a new Besam UniSlide single sliding door operator, an ADS Slim door leaf, a glazed side screen, and a foot-activated opener.

The installation of the Besam automatic door systems is the fulfilment of a long term goal for the infection control team. Commented Marlis Emery, Infection Control Specialist for Hinchingbrooke Hospital: “The automatic doors help prevent the spread of infection as they create a physical barrier. The biggest spread of infection is often through hand contact, so the foot switch is an ideal solution as people do not put their hands on the glass door. The foot activated opener is also convenient when staff are removing items such as bedpans. As they don’t have to use their hands to open the doors, we can further reduce the risk of spreading infection in this way.”

Prior to the installation of the Besam automatic door systems, Hinchingbrooke Hospital erected temporary barriers when dealing with infectious patients. This short-term solution was not ideal because the barriers were time consuming to construct, only closed off two bays, and didn’t isolate the whole ward. During an outbreak of Norovirus in December 2007, Hinchingbrooke Hospital had to shut down six wards. As the Hospital has had to shut down wards in this way in the past, the infection control team wanted a permanent solution that allowed them to shut off multiple bays and help prevent the spread of infection.

Additionally, installing automatic door systems helps Hinchingbrooke Hospital comply with the Health Act 2006, which aims to prevent and control Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) in healthcare organisations. The Health Act 2006 requires, among other measures, that healthcare organisations provide isolation facilities. Hinchingbrooke Hospital can now offer this through the use of the automatic door systems on the new wards. HAIs may cause more

than 5,000 deaths per year and cost England more than £1 billion annually. Implementing effective infection control measures, as Hinchingbrooke Hospital has done, can therefore help healthcare organisations save on costs in the long run.

Both the patients and the staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are responding favourably to the new automatic door systems. In addition to helping prevent the spread of infection, the automatic doors provide quiet, privacy and dignity. Staff and visitors in the halls are undetectable to the patients in the bays and doctor-patient conversations in the bays are kept confidential from people in the corridors. In the previous arrangement every bay was open to the corridors. The new automatic door systems allow the hospital to close off groups of five patients so that they have the opportunity to recuperate in a clean and quiet environment.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital is one of a few trusts using automatic door systems for infection control. The trust currently has seven of the refurbished wards operating with the new door systems, which they keep closed to prevent the spread of infection. The original refurbishment of six wards was completed in May 2008.

Email: Anthony.Helps@besam.co.uk


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Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
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