NUH Chief Operating Officer Lisa Kelly recently accompanied colleagues from across Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust on a visit to the factory and training academy of Castle Donington-based hospital bed manufacturer, Medstrom Healthcare.
NUH and Medstrom have partnered on a large and hugely important project to replace 2,100 beds and 1,900 mattresses across the trust. Around 7,000 staff will be trained on the new hi-tech equipment, which is designed to bring a a range of benefits to patients, including reducing the risk of falls and developing pressure ulcers.
The new beds are also desined to help hospital staff as they are easier to manoeuvre, easier and safer to transport and move patients in and out of, and easier and more enviornmentally friendly to clean.
The replacement beds and mattresses, supplied and partly manufactured by Medstrom who are calling one of the new beds the "Nottingham bed", are expected to make a "massive difference" for both patients and staff. NUH and Medstrom will begin rolling out the beds and mattresses over the course of 10 weekends, starting on June 12.
Kelly Davis, who is currently training staff to use the beds at the Head and Neck unit at QMC, said the new beds were "amazing". Kelly continued: "The new beds are very light so staff can use one hand to use the bed. The old beds were really, really heavy. They're so much more easy to clean as well, as the parts come off. So it's a quicker turn-around and we can get patients in quicker.
"I have sat on one myself and laid down and they're so comfortable. They are amazing. The old one's were still good but these are so much better. They are going to make a massive difference, not only for patients but for our staff."
It will be the first time NUH has replaced its beds on this scale since its formation in 2006. Around 1,900 mattresses will also be supplied and the maternity department already has 31 new beds in place.
The new technology includes the ability for the bed to go lower to the ground. Features also mean patients do not slip down when the head of the bed is lifted, reducing the chance of pressure ulcers.
Speaking on her visit to Castle Donnington-based Medstrom, Lisa Kelly, Chief Operating Office at NUH said: "It also helps our staff who are looking after our patients. Also the beds can go quite high, so it makes it a little bit easier for staff to care for patients.
"The current beds we have definitely don't go as low as these do. They're coming to the end of their life, they're almost 20 years old now so it's entirely appropriate for us to look to renew equipment as we do with all equipment across the organisation. It's a 10-year contract and it's important for us to take advantage of the latest technology to ensure that our patients are as comfortable as possible and that we're supporting staff and making it easier for them to continue delivering excellent care."