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NHS pilots ice detection system

Published 24th December, 2014 by Neil Nixon

NHS pilots ice detection system

A new 'smart road studs' temperature-sensitive alerting system, stocked exclusively by Wakefield-based wholesaler, YESSS Electrical, has been installed by Northern General Hospital as part of a winter weather warning pilot.

The PATeye ice detection system, which is claimed to be the first in the world to use solar powered cats eye-style road stud lighting to detect icy road temperatures, is to be trialled at the hospital's main Barnsley Road site entrance throughout this winter. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the first hospital in Europe and the second overall site in Europe to use the technology.

YESSS has supplied the Trust with a total of 10 temperature sensitive solar-powered studs. Once the road temperature drops to 0°C or below the blue LEDs in the stud start to flash - alerting drivers of the possibility of ice formation. There are two versions of the stud - a direct replacement for the standard reflective stud and a snow-plough resistant version which is set into a core drilled hole.

The system will be used by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in conjunction with the Met Office Open Road weather forecast information systems to make an informed decision regarding the amount of salt to be spread on the road.

Dean Ward, branch manager of YESSS Electrical in Sheffield North, said: “There has been a huge increase in the number of weather related incidents over the last couple of years, which puts a great deal of pressure on hospitals. Hospitals not only have to treat those injured, they have to ensure hospital staff and patients are able to access the hospital safely in adverse weather conditions. We identified Northern General Hospital as perfect location to really put PATeye's capabilities to the test.”

Roger Bown, senior estates manager for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be offering this groundbreaking cost-effective technology to hospital visitors and patients. Winter is one of our busiest times of the year, and severe temperatures can impact on patient safety so improving visual awareness when road temperatures drop to freezing or below will help alert ambulance crews and other drivers of treacherous icy road surface temperatures. This will help us put preventative measures in place as quickly as possible and better assist with overall site safety.”

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