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As the international coronavirus crisis continues to put a strain on our hospitals and GP surgeries, the need for infection control has never become clearer. While MPs and healthcare professionals alike continue to highlight how good hygiene practices can help to prevent the spread of infectious viruses like Covid-19, it’s worth considering how furniture and furnishings within healthcare premises can also help to combat the spread of infection.
Specialist furniture design for hospitals
To be suitable for infection control, hospital furniture needs to be fitted in a manner that allows for the full cleaning of floors and adjacent surfaces. Hospital furniture should also be designed to minimise crevices or areas where viruses can reside and bacteria can multiply. This is particularly important when it comes to storage cupboards and cabinets in healthcare premises, which should be manufactured to HTM 63 and HTM 71 industry standards.
Storage cupboards manufactured to these industry standards have smooth, non-porous surfaces. Smooth surfaces are easily disinfected and wiped clean, and subsequently less likely to allow coronavirus and other harmful pathogens to collect there. In addition to smooth surfaces, sloping tops to wall units also prevent dust and other contaminants from collecting and are again easy to clean in line with HTM 63 specification healthcare establishments stringent infection control procedures.
What materials should infection control furniture be made from?
Furniture manufactured from laminate or Corian is perfect for use in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, health centres and hospices. These materials are non-porous, wipe-clean and provide a sterile working surface. Most importantly, they are compliant with the industry standards which denote the type of furniture to be used in healthcare environments.
In addition to this, hospital furniture manufactured from these materials is incredibly durable, which is a bonus in a tough working environment. Another benefit is that items made of laminate or Corian can be repaired at an affordable price, which helps to keep ongoing hospital furniture costs down.
Infection control – where to find out more
If you are concerned about preventing the spread of infection in a healthcare environment, you may wish to familiarise yourself with the Healthcare Technical Memorandum 63 and 71 criteria. You may also wish to browse our catalogue of storage units and other hospital furniture.
Read a short case study about the £300k fitted furniture contract we completed for Wexham Park Hospital’s brand new emergency department, including producing formed stainless steel worktops.
If you’re specifying health centre furniture or if you’d like to discuss a healthcare or hospital project, please get in touch.
As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of fitted furniture for hospitals and healthcare facilities, we can design, manufacture and install furniture to meet your individual project requirements. Our healthcare furniture range is specified for all types of hospital refurbishment and new development projects, from NHS Trust premises to private hospitals. All our furniture is manufactured at our factory in Broadstairs, Kent, here in the UK.