Discover how Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust prioritised ventilation as part of their infection prevention plans by introducing 134 Rediair units across their estate.
Earlier this month, we spoke with Amy Boden, Head of Infection Prevention and Control at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, to find out how they’re delivering improved air quality throughout the Trust. Here's what she had to say:
“Ventilation is such an important part of protecting against respiratory pathogens, including Covid,” says Amy. “There’s much to consider in this process, including managing challenges with older estate, achieving suitable air changes per hour, not having a cluttered environment and not using something too noisy for our patient areas.”
Amy joined the Trust in March 2021, during the third wave of the pandemic. A review of the Trust’s air quality and ventilation process was high on the agenda – and it was an assessment that identified opportunities for improvements in parts of the estate to support patient care and staff wellbeing.
“Some parts of the estate didn’t have sufficient mechanical ventilation in place, so we identified opportunities to put additional measures in place to support air quality,” says Amy. “We had some air disinfector units on a rental basis, and these were helping in our identified areas, but we wanted a longer-term plan that would provide value for money.”
Amy’s prioritisation of ventilation came with support from the Chief Operating Officer, Director of Infection Prevention and Control and was circulated in the Trust’s Tactical Command meeting, which has been a decision making forum throughout the pandemic. “We got very early buy-in from our senior leadership team,” says Amy. “They recognise the benefits that mechanical ventilation can deliver for patients, and its role in prevention as part of our hierarchy of controls assessment.”
The Trust’s review of options identified the Rediair as a preferred option – with Amy’s team using GAMA's interactive air quality calculator to determine how many units they would need and giving certainty on likely costs. But what else attracted Amy and colleagues to the Rediair?
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“Affordability was obviously a big factor,” says Amy. “We ultimately wanted to make sure we were getting an effective product that would work in our wards and priority areas of the estate. The Rediair’s HEPA-14 filters gave us that reassurance, and the information from GAMA’s website and discussions with our team showed how easy it is to use.”
A major selling point was also noise levels. “It’s so quiet!” says Amy. “GAMA’s team came in and we tested it in my office. You couldn’t hear it, so that immediately told us that the Rediair would be a good product to prevent noise disturbances for our patients.”
Installing the units was very much a team effort, with staff from the Trust and GAMA assembling, transporting and setting up all 134 units in a single day – and training estate and ward personnel on their use. “We took the decision to do it all in one go,” says Amy. “I think this really helped with getting buy-in on our wards with both staff and patients. We were able to explain what we were doing and why. I think colleagues were very reassured that the units wouldn’t be labour-intensive, and the staff and patients recognised that we’re doing something to protect their health and wellbeing.”
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The trust has all 134 units in operation, including in pathways for respiratory infections, the older estate in the hospital and selected community settings for palliative care and stroke rehabilitation. Feedback from staff and patients has been positive, and the Trust will be undertaking surveys to gauge attitudes. “We’ve been taking some measurements of CO2 levels in different parts of the estate with reassuring results,” says Amy. “Comments from colleagues and patients have been really positive, and I’m looking forward to seeing what a more formal review tells us.”
If you'd like to find out more about our instant air purification unit, visit our Rediair page or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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