Sheffield Teaching Hospitals use Vernacare to improve infection control

Published: 20-Sep-2012

Switch from using bed pan washers to a single-use pulp disposal system improves standards of infection control and a more eco-friendly system

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has switched from using bed pan washers to a single-use pulp disposal system on 17 acute wards at its Northern General Hospital. This will improve standards of infection control, while providing a more eco-friendly system of human waste management.

The Trust has partnered with Lancashire based medical products manufacturer Vernacare to supply Vortex pulp disposal units and single-use pulp products for this new development at its Northern General Hospital, having utilised the Vernacare System at its other hospital sites for many years.

Patty Hempshall, Lead Infection Control Nurse, said: "The move to a single-use system on acute wards at the Northern General is good practice from an infection prevention perspective and improves the patient experience. "Before making the change, we conducted trials on five wards."

Nurses found that a single-use system saved them time and our estates team appreciated the fact that pulp disposal units were easier to maintain and service than traditional bed pan washers, and that they improved sustainability.

The Trust is using Vernacare urinals, bedpans, washbowls and other single-use pulp products. After each use the products are placed in a pulp disposal unit, which breaks down the pulp into biodegradable fragments that flush away through the drains using a cold water cycle. As well as providing hygiene benefits, this single-use system also saves money on water and energy.

Vernacare is an ISO 14001 approved manufacturer – producing more than 140 million pulp products each year in the UK from 100% recycled newsprint (without using bleach or dye). The company also manufactures Vortex pulp disposal units. Vernacare provides the largest range of medical pulp products to the NHS and has held the BSI kitemark on its pulp since 1999. The company’s stringent quality control ensures leak-proof product performance and effective pulp disposal. As such, the company had just 0.0007% complaints last year from the 140 million items of pulp supplied.

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