ROBOT wars have broken out at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in the battle against bugs.
A machine dubbed the RoboCleaner is among the very latest infection control and prevention technology being tested at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust for the Government’s Department of Health (DoH).
The trust has been selected as one of seven hospital trusts to test the state-of-the-art technology. It is the only one in Yorkshire.
The technology has already passed laboratory tests and is now going through final checks in wards and clinical areas.
Paul Cryer, from the DoH, said: “ We chose this trust because of its very clear determination to significantly reduce infection in their hospitals and also their enthusiasm for sharing what they have learned with other NHS hospitals and staff.”
The RoboCleaner is a computer-operated machine which pumps hydrogen peroxide vapour into a sealed room.
After 90 minutes the vapour is pumped out without leaving any residue and the room is ready for the next patient.
The machine was created by Hampshire-based Bioquell, whose research director, David Watling, designed R2-D2 for the Star Wars films.
Another trial is using bioluminescence testers. These are mini-wands which are pressed on to a surface and the tip then goes into a handheld machine which analyses what has been collected.
These are being tested in wards 7 and intensive care at the Infirmary and the medical assessment unit at the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.
Bed frames, lockers, sinks, taps, drug cabinets and door handles are among the 20 areas every day which will be tested.
The trust’s project leader and senior infection control nurse, Jean Robinson, said: “Very often an area looks clean but when it is analysed to this degree it is apparent it could be cleaner still. There are now products which provide that quality of cleanliness.
“The developments in infection control are advancing so quickly and it is such an important issue it is good that our trust is at the very forefront of it all and been selected to take part in this landmark project.”
During the trials evidence of how effective each product or technology is will be collected, along with the views of staff on how easy they are to use.
This information will be shared among hospitals around the country.