Harnessing technology to do ‘more for less’

The Secretary of State says that technology will be the key to increasing healthy life expectancy, reducing costs and personalising treatments in the future. However, clinicians will be required to help develop the technology and the Government is now consulting on its ‘tech plan’.

Rise of the robot in the wake of coronavirus

Steve Eames provides an insight into the role of robotic technologies in preventing infection during outbreaks, such as COVID-19, from disinfection of contaminated areas, to medical support and triage of patients. China has led the way, in terms harnessing innovation and artificial intelligence, but there is increasing potential for medical support automation in the NHS, as the technology arrives in the UK.

Disinfectants and the ‘entourage effect’

In the wake of COVID-19, the role of surface and skin disinfectants are under close scrutiny. Dr. Andrew Kemp considers the resistance challenge and discusses the efficacy of 5th generation SiQuat compounds, compared to other chemistries.

Cleaning complex surgical instruments

The cleaning of complex reusable surgical instruments requires different considerations and processes, compared to conventional reusable instruments. Samuel Morais BScEng (Hons), from STERIS, offers some advice on tackling some of the key challenges around decontamination of complex surgical instruments – from cleaning and transport, through to reprocessing.

The making of process challenge devices

Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski MSc, BSc, MBA describes the research and development behind the creation of process challenge devices, aimed at optimising cleaning of surgical instruments.

New research on protein residue removal

Decontamination Service Manager, Mark Campbell provides an insight into the latest protein residue removal research at the University Hospital of Wales HSDU. The findings could offer valuable insights into best practice.

Advancing flexible endoscope cleaning

Adriaan Posthuma highlights the importance of inspecting flexible endoscopes, to ensure patient safety. He provides an insight into the risks of biofilm and protein residues, outlining the steps required to ensure quality assurance.

NHS ‘super centre’ delivered for Royal Free

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with CFES and Getinge to make its vision of an NHS-owned decontamination super centre a reality – offering the ability to improve services within the Trust, as well as other hospitals in the London area and beyond. Louise Frampton witnessed first-hand the scale of the operation on a visit to the state-of-the-art Enfield site.

Securing the future of decontamination science

With an ageing workforce, the decontamination sector urgently needs to develop the next generation of healthcare scientists, to ensure the sector continues to deliver high quality, safe services for patients.

Automating medication storage in theatres

Major savings in medicines expenditure have been reported by a hospital in North Wales, following the installation of an automated medication cabinet within the operating theatre. The automated system is also improving the accountability of medication use and helping to improve safety.

Focus on innovation in clinical engineering

The EBME chairman, Dr. John Sandham, discusses what to expect at the EBME Expo, being held in the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes, in Autumn 2020.

AMR threat: infection prevention vital

At Infection Prevention & Control 2020, NHS leaders warned that increased efforts are required to reduce healthcare-associated infections, if we are to win the fight against antimicrobial resistance. With ambitious targets now set to cut Gram-negative bloodstream infections, what role can clinicians have in delivering improvement? Louise Frampton reports

Falling short: the NHS workforce challenge

The NHS has seen significant changes in the profile of its staff as it struggles to fill widespread and growing nurse shortages. Analysis by the Health Foundation shows that the skills mix is changing, as the number of registered nurses is being outstripped by increases in clinical support staff.

What we learned from Arab Health 2020

Paul McGrade provides his thoughts on health trends on show at Arab Health.

The impact of austerity on health outcomes

The Marmot Review 10 Years On has highlighted the devastating impact that a decade of austerity has had on health outcomes. For the first time in over a century, progress in life expectancy has stalled and even declined for women, while health inequalities have widened.

Disruptive behaviours persist in theatres

There is increasing recognition of the need to tackle disruptive behaviours in the perioperative setting, including ‘incivility’. Kate Woodhead RGN DMS discusses the issue of bullying in theatres and the impact that this has on patient safety and the retention of staff.

Machine learning will reshape clinical services

Stefan Hogendoorn, chief technical officer at Cloud Technology Solutions, explains how machine learning is being used to improve medical diagnoses and healthcare provision, highlighting the potential to reshape the future of clinical services in the UK.

Eliminating the risks of mattress damage

Shaun Ambrose-Jones, an independent consultant at AMJO Business Development, explores how using a non-corrosive, chlorine-free, high-level disinfectant can optimise cleaning and reduce the risk of damage to mattress covers.

Smartphones and the future of diagnostics

Could smartphones democratise healthcare and relieve the pressure on healthcare facilities? Louise Frampton discusses how the combination of mobile devices with diagnostic tools could offer new possibilities to test, track and treat conditions – from rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and HIV, to the tracking of Ebola outbreaks.

Short-term financial fixes ‘not sustainable’

The NHS is treating more patients but has not yet achieved the fundamental transformation in services and finance regime needed to meet rising demand. Short-term fixes have made some parts of the NHS seriously financially unstable, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).