Bedside lockers specifically designed to reduce the risk of spreading infection are due to enter service at The Chesterfield Royal Hospital foundation trust.
The bedside unit has entirely smooth surfaces with no joins or crevices, making it difficult for bacteria to survive. It has no back and the drawers can be completely removed, so it can be wiped clean and made ready to receive the next patient within minutes.
Diane Simpson, senior matron for infection prevention and control at the trust, said: “This locker has been specifically designed to help us to keep the patient area clean. By making things easier to clean we are reducing the risk of seeing potentially harmful bacteria travelling from patient to patient.”
The locker, developed by Bristol Maid, has been created with patients and nurses in mind. The top section allows staff to dispense drugs or write up their notes. It also has key features such as raised sides so that any spillages can be contained on the unit and easily wiped clean.
Martin Shepherd, head of medicines management, at the trust said: “We’ve known for a while that the ones we currently have are not ideal as they have very limited space for storing medicines safely and they are hard to clean.
“The new lockers have additional storage space for medicines as well as having electronic locks which will improve the accessibility for nurses and patients. They are much easier to use, access and clean and we’re the first in the world to have them.”
The unit was designed after extensive user research and consultation with patients, medical staff, infection control, pharmacists, cleaners and matrons to identify the key features that were required, such as electronic locks to remove the need for bulky bunches of keys.
They have been introduced to Murphy ward on a trial basis and will be included in the new ward development that is due to open later this year.