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Making space makes a big difference


Russell Stuart, Marketing Manager at ZARGES, discusses the importance of proper storage solutions.


After years of tight budgets and infrastructure underspending, hospitals have been faced with tough spending decisions – including implementing the cheapest storage solutions. This is a real example of a false economy as


trolleys and mobile racking, as this makes cleaning theatre rooms much simpler.


cheap solutions deteriorate rapidly and break


frequently, needing to be replaced far more quickly, causing a lot of inconvenience along the way.


All too often storage is seen in isolation, as a space where medical supplies can be kept, without considering the long- term implications. But if we are serious about improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our national health system, we need to think more imaginatively about storage in the medical sector.


When we embrace the latest systems and practices, the benefits reach much further than simply achieving more storage space. While often overlooked, optimal storage is the key to better stock control, distribution and workflow. This has a marked impact on efficiencies, workplace safety and saves time.


Get the memo


The NHS agrees, having published the Health Technical Memorandum 71 (HTM71), offering hospitals guidance on how to optimise their storage practices. It recommends the use of modular storage systems – including special trays, baskets, trolleys and cupboards – to improve workflow, safety and delivery speed between departments.


Adopting HTM71-ready products will require some upfront investment and a few days of lost time due to installation. However, this must not distract from their long-term value. The cheapest open shelving solutions cost less initially, but their inefficiency can impact future performance. By contrast, modular storage offers practical solutions that deliver long-lasting value, making them cheaper and more effective in the long run. As experts in storage solutions, ZARGES offers a specific HTM71 storage range, designed to meet the demands of busy healthcare environments.


Get moving


Today, hospital storage solutions generally follow the model laid down by Health Technical Memorandum 63 (HTM63). But, in order to comply with infection control guidelines set out by the Care Quality Commission, particularly in theatre, hospitals are moving away from fixed storage, towards


In addition to hygiene, the beauty of portable solutions is their customisability. Though there is an immense variety to these solutions, all emphasise modular components that can be inserted or removed to suit every need. This can be as simple as a portable basket, with removable inserts that allow it to carry many differently-sized supplies all at once.


ZARGES cupboard trolleys are made from aluminium, so are much lighter than those that are made from steel and are also much easier to manoeuvre – they can also be supplied with UN 3291 approval to ensure they are compliant.


Mobile trolleys, such as the MPO trolley, make keeping theatres clean much easier: they can be moved around to ensure that every inch of floor is reached and the internal drawers can be removed to ensure they are also sterilised. This ultimately makes them far safer than fixed solutions. The MPO also conforms to HTM71 standards.


Finally, as modular solutions are more adaptable, they’re more ergonomic. Employees can adapt storage shape and adjust height for their maximum convenience, reducing the need for bending or stretching – this can have huge advantages, particularly when doctors and nurses can be in theatres for significant lengths of time. In the long term this lowers the occurrence of workplace injuries and limits the disruption and lost output that can often follow.


Small changes in processes can have a substantial impact on long-term outcomes. By making the best use of space, it is possible to make a big difference.


www.zarges.com/uk


62 | HEALTH & SAFETY (PPE, WORKING AT HEIGHT)


twitter.com/TomoCleaning


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