Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, a regional and national centre for specialist treatment playing a leading role in research, education and innovation, and is also the local hospital for the Leeds community.
In order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the trust decided to re-open three wards – X31, X34, and X37 – on its Leeds General Infirmary site to accommodate coronavirus patients.
Prior to the pandemic, two of the wards had been repurposed; Ward X37 was being used as office space; and Ward X34 had been fully remodelled as an education centre, although the nurse call system had been left in place. Ward X31 was not being used clinically.
The trust appointed DD Porter as its building contractor on the project and JA Richardson as its electrical contractor.
And, as the trust’s nurse call provider, Static Systems Group (SSG) was commissioned to bring the wards’ redundant nurse call systems back online.
Andrew Hussey, account manager at SSG, said: “Multiple generations of our nurse call technology have been installed on the Leeds General Infirmary site and have been modified and adapted to suit the changing requirements of the hospital over the years.
“We’ve worked closely with local M&E contractors and our own installers to undertake work at the majority of sites within the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, including Leeds General Infirmary, St. James’s, Seacroft, Chapel Allerton Hospital, and the Leeds Cancer Centre and we were delighted to be asked to assist with this prominent project to enable the trust to treat COVID-19 patients.”
All three wards already had SSG’s Codemlon nurse call solution in place, but as the systems had been installed over seven years ago and had not been used for some time, the company was commissioned to bring them back online.
In order to do this, the SSG team had to undertake substantial recommissioning to bring the nurse call systems in line with the latest HTM guidance.
The systems had been used for spares and two of the three had missing power supplies.
The systems were also thoroughly fault tested and replacement parts fitted where necessary.
The system on ward X37 had been isolated down one side, so a second loop circuit was installed in order to bring it back online. This approach avoided wasting time on tracing the original wiring and locating the breaks.
Handsets and a number of damaged call points were also replaced.
The systems were then reprogrammed with the latest software versions and the address labels reviewed before handover.
Given the increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 during this time, the trust set a very-tight timescale for the wards to open to patients.
The original handover deadline was the end of April, but this was brought forward by almost three weeks to 10 April.
SSG successfully completed all necessary works in just 16 days – from the initial site survey on 25 March to the handover of all three wards on 9 April. All site labour was carried out within a six-day period.
All three wards, which have between 20-25 beds each, are now equipped with the latest version of Codemlon, an addressable loop wired nurse call solution designed to support improved patient safety and wellbeing and to provide an extensive range of advanced healthcare communication solutions, including smart device integration for enhanced staff efficiency.
And the patient hand units supplied as part of the system refurbishment contain the Biomaster silver-based antimicrobial agent which is incorporated during the manufacturing process to help further strengthen the infection control measures instigated by the hospital.
Andy Wiggins, electrical designer for capital projects at the trust, said: “For this particular project, the team at SSG was able to respond quickly and adapt to a changing schedule.
“This was a very-high-profile project within the trust, and it was essential that SSG could deliver the installation on time as the wards form a key part of our COVID-19 treatment plan.”