NHS hospitals 'waste thousands' ditching luxury fans

Published: 28-Nov-2019

Hospitals throwing out costly Dyson bladeless fans over infection fears

NHS chiefs have been accused of wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money after issuing a warning that Dyson bladeless fans had been linked to healthcare-associated infections.

More than £1m was spent on thousands of the luxury models between 2013-2017, with installations at more than 100 NHS trusts in England and Wales.

They were brought in under the presumption they were cleaner than standard equipment because there were no blades for dust to cling to.

But NHS guidance has since warned they have been ‘linked to healthcare associated infections’.

The official guidance, seen and reported by The Sun newspaper, said the fans acted as a 'reservoir for micro-organisms'.

Bladed fans, on the other hand, are deemed safer, despite costing a tenth of the price of the £350 Dyson model.

The Sun reports that staff at some hospitals have been ordered to bag up the fans, put them in storage, and replace them with older models.

And John O'Connell of the TaxPayers' Alliance said it had been a 'terrible use of taxpayers' cash'.

While Dyson reports that, as far as it is aware, its 'fans continue to be used across the NHS'; an NHS England spokesperson said: “We issued national guidelines in January on the risks associated with all types of portable fans, and it is for local teams to decide how best to manage this and keep their patients safe.”

The revelation comes after NHS figures last October revealed patients are more than eight times as likely to catch an infection while in hospital as they were 10 years ago, with the number of in-hospital infections rising from 5,972 in 2008 to 48,815 in 2017, according to NHS Digital data.

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