Hospital equipment launch
The CareCentre, manufactured by Bristol Maid and designed by the DOME research team from RCA and Imperial College, has been designed to stand at the end of the standard hospital bed, providing all the equipment commonly needed for safer care at the bedside.
The researchers worked closely with frontline NHS staff and patients to define the shape, layout and contents of the CareCentre, which contains items to combat the spread of infection such as aprons, gloves, cleaning wipes and alcohol hand gel.
The CareCentre also has a flat surface for writing on charts and documents, a clinical waste bin, and a locker for medication.
It is one of the main outputs of a three-year project called DOME (Designing Out Medical Error). This brought together designers, engineers, clinicians, psychologists and business experts to investigate the problem of medical error on hospital wards. Infection control, hand hygiene, medication delivery and staff handover were all identified as ward-based processes with high potential for medical error.
The new equipment design is based on intensive clinical research. Clinical trials are already under way at St Mary's Hospital, London. Professor George Hanna, Consultant Surgeon and Clinical Lead on the DOME project, said: 'We believe that the CareCentre will reduce error. It takes a multidisciplinary approach and we hope it will change the clinical practice of how people are cared for on the ward.'
The design work was led by a team at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art. Senior Associate Jonathan West explains: "The bedspace on the ward is a very busy place. This design is intended to save nurses' time, and make it easier for them to use the right equipment."
Stuart Davis, Managing Director of Bristol Maid, adds: 'As a major supplier to the NHS, we are delighted to have developed one of the main innovations to emerge from the DOME project into a manufactured product. The CareCentre addresses real needs as identified by frontline staff and should make a positive contribution to better patient care.'