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City hospital goes for silver

Published 25th June, 2012 by Neil Nixon

City hospital goes for silver

When Peterborough City Hospital first opened its doors in October 2010 eastern England welcomed a purpose-built hospital which embraced the very best in new technology and design - not only in the provision of medical care, but in every aspect of the building’s fabric, including the demands of keeping just short of 1 million square feet of busy floor space clean and free from the dangers of cross contamination - particularly of an anaerobic organism such as Clostridium.Difficile.

Medirest, part of the Compass Group, provides the soft facilities services for the hospital such as cleaning, laundry and catering. Service manager, Diane Willis and Deborah Knight, Medirest’s patient service manager, were charged with implementing a cleaning regime that encompassed the Medirest a+ cleaning systems. This is designed to ensure that the new facility delivers to the highest levels of safety and cleanliness possible and it was they who, from the outset, introduced nano microfibre technology into all areas of the hospital premises.

For centuries, silver has been used as a broad spectrum anti-bacterial substance in medicine. As a non-toxic, non-allergic and non-cumulative substance, the ability of silver to keep food and drink fresh and pure has been recognised since the early days. In the late 1930s, the medical profession turned its attention to pharmaceutical drugs and, until the mid-70s, use of silver in anti-microbial applications was largely ignored.

After considerable research and development, silver is now being successfully used in a wide range of microfibre cleaning products such as colour coded mops and cloths introduced by Robert Scott & Sons - a range of products that is claimed to dramatically help combat the spread of bacteria in environmentally sensitive areas. The nano silver kills the micro-organisms that are picked up and contained in the microfibre products during cleaning and, although the products are soiled, the contamination is removed through the nano silver interacting with the organism’s cell wall, effectively killing the organism.

Deborah Knight said: “Our main concern when making the decision as to which cleaning system to use throughout the hospital was how we could ensure that, when transferring used microfibre cloths and mop heads to Medirest’s laundry facilities, there was no danger of microbes being taken with them through often sensitive areas of the hospital site. With the Nano system we are able to reap the benefits of microfibre cleaning and move soiled mops and cloths through the hospital environs without danger of contamination. Robert Scott’s Nano microfibre range, all of which incorporates a silver anti-microbial treatment, is naturally anti-bacterial. The price is also very competitive considering the well established and highly regarded anti bacterial function added to the cloth. Importantly, this treatment has been proven to be successful in combating a range of micro organisms. The Nano microfibre ensures micro-organisms do not spread during cleaning and transport from the infected area, attracts no after smells such as dampness and unpleasant odours, can be washed up to 500 times without losing its effectiveness and is totally environmentally sound in that the mops and cloths can be used without the need of disinfectants.”

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