NHS Borders General Hospital

After coming across information relating to SafeIPC systems on LinkedIn, Safehouse was contacted by the assistant service manager from Borders General Hospital. The team at the hospital were very interested in implementing additional control measures to help mitigate Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) of Covid-19 when conducting Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs).

After the initial contact, a Teams meeting between Safehouse SafeIPC personnel and the senior team at Borders General was arranged. It was then agreed that the next step would be a detailed site survey to ascertain how Safehouse could help
meet the needs of the Borders General Hospital. During the survey, three locations were identified as areas that would benefit from additional IPC measures to help secure the safety of patients and staff: wards 5, 15, and the ITU ward. On the ITU ward, the SafeClinic product could be utilised to enclose two ward bays which would provide the hospital with additional isolation facilities. The additional isolation capacity would house increasing numbers of critically ill Covid-19 positive patients whilst simultaneously helping to stop the spread to health care staff and other at-risk patients.


Safehouse was presented with significant challenges during the design phase of the SafeClinic. All SafeClinics were required to be designed around the current bay footprint and should have no impact on normal day to day operations of the hospital or the safe operating procedures currently implemented within the ITU ward. Safehouse’s engineering personnel worked closely with the Borders estates team, making sure to consider current Air Changes per Hour (ACH) in the ward, and how this may impact the project. Nursing staff that would use the SafeClinic daily were also consulted during the design phase to ensure all needs were being met.


Safehouse design engineers reviewed the requests from the Borders General estates and Nursing teams and planned the bespoke SafeIPC system around the requirements of the hospital. The result was a SafeClinic that captured all the unique factors at the Borders General Hospital ITU ward. Once the design was agreed, Safehouse commenced the procurement process of all required materials ensuring clear communication with the Borders team to arrange a delivery and install date that would meet the needs of both parties, without impacting the daily operations of the hospital. The SafeClinic systems were installed within the agreed timeframe of 4 weeks.


Working with the estates team at all stages of the process, Safehouse designed a bespoke SafeClinic which would be used to reduce exposure to NHS staff and other patients during Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs). The SafeClinic utilises negative pressure and containment to create an environment with forced ventilation that is filtered through a pre-filter and HEPA 14 filter. An additional level of IPC is offered with the double airlock door which can also serve as a donning and doffing area. The airlock system is what maintains the negative pressure during this process.


Outcome and benefits

Thanks to implementing Safehouse SafeIPC SafeClinics, the Borders General Hospital has now doubled its negative pressure isolation capabilities within the ITU ward. This additional IPC measure has significantly reduced the risk of HCAI to staff members and other patients. Due to the successful completion of phase one of the project, phase two has now been scheduled. Phase two includes the installation of an additional SafeClinic and three of our SafeRoom isolation pods.