Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is replacing around 800 beds and 600 mattresses in a move that will improve patient safety and experience, while helping it to operate with greater efficiency. The new equipment being rolled out at sites across the Trust and will be provided and maintained by the UK’s only independent provider of bed management services to the NHS, Medstrom Healthcare.
The new beds and mattresses represent the latest advancements in medical equipment technology; offering benefits to patients and staff by helping to reduce instances of preventable harm, the spread of infection, and need for clinicians to physically mobilise patients.
The total bed and mattress replacement was a significant, multi-departmental project, but an essential step to future-proof the provision of high quality patient care, as the Trust’s Assistant Director of Nursing and Quality, Tracy Crumbleholme, explains: “The selection process was a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach, involving both clinical and non-clinical staff. We wanted to review proposed equipment from a quality, safety and efficiency perspective to ensure we selected the best product for our specific needs now and in the future. We established a specification early on; defining what was essential and what was desirable. Crucially, we examined vendor propositions against the key criteria of quality, safety, patient experience, and value for money.
“With the patient population ageing, we needed beds to support patients at high risk of falls and tissue damage to support our organisations strategic aim of reducing patient harm. The MMO 5000+ caters for this need with its ultra-low height setting and side rails. Equally, the increase of patients experiencing respiratory complications made the 30° and 45° pre-set backrest angles a very attractive function. The bed’s ability to eliminate heel travel and promote safe, early, and independent mobilisation also ticked many of our boxes. Finally, the pressure redistribution qualities of the AeroSpacer mattress supported our goal of minimising preventable patient harm due to tissue damage.
“Selecting Medstrom was a unanimous decision. Not only do I have confidence in the equipment’s ability to enhance patient care, but I believe that clinician efficiency will also greatly improve because of access to a better class of hospital bed that can tailor support to the individual needs of patients.”
The deal to bring in the new equipment is the first action of the newly formed Lancashire Procurement Cluster (LPC), created to boost the buying power of the three NHS Trusts that will now utilise its services. It followed a full market review driven by a stringent list of benefit criteria, which culminated in the selection of products exclusively supplied by Medstrom. The new partnership is one born of high levels of cooperation and creativity, as Keith Dickinson, the Trust’s Chief Financial Officer, states:
“The financial package put together to make this possible was truly innovative, and required real flexibility on both sides. The work of the LPC, NHS Supply Chain, BFW Management Ltd. (Atlas) our wholly owned subsidiary company, along with the Medstrom team and our own people has led to a situation where we can both improve quality and lower costs. I’ve been really impressed with the input from all sides, and the collaboration shown will ensure we can deliver better patient care, achieve more positive outcomes and attain improved financial performance for years to come.”
Commenting on the procurement drivers and ongoing contract, Atlas’s Head of Medical Engineering, Darren Wrigley, said: “The incumbent bed frames had reached the end of their life cycle and were no longer supported by the manufacturer. The Trust needed a solution that would meet the emerging needs of the patient population – beds that are modern, reliable, and add value to the Trust’s preventable harm agenda. Not only is the equipment good news from a patient safety perspective but the repair and maintenance remit is being optimised through an ongoing partnership between Atlas and Medstrom. This involves streamlined preventative maintenance schedules, quick and efficient decontamination, on-site engineers that can repair or replace equipment and minimise the impact on patients, and data-driven reporting. It’s been a significant project to co-ordinate but I’m confident that the right supplier has been selected and I am looking forward to working with Medstrom long into the future to deliver
the best results for patients and the best value for money for the Trust.”
Rajan Sethi, Head of Procurement and Commercial Atlas, with the support of NHS Supply Chain has coordinated all stakeholders to ensure an innovative approach that should realise tangible clinical and financial benefits and improved service productivity for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This also supports our commitment to the national Future Operating Model and hence the wider national agenda.
Medstrom’s Sales and Marketing Director, Rachel Apsey, believes that the new equipment will deliver tangible benefits to all stakeholders at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Rachel comments: “The beds and mattresses we are providing are far superior to standard medical beds and mattresses. They have a proven ability to champion better comfort levels for patients, promote early, independent mobilisation, support enhanced infection control and reduce the occurrence of falls and pressure ulcers. The beds also provide clinicians with simple and standardised operating functionality and, in most cases, remove the need for manual hoisting and positioning of patients; something that is not only undignified and uncomfortable for patients but both resource intensive and physically demanding for ward staff.”