MAT at South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

Medical Air Technology (MAT) has always prided itself on leading the market in the design. development and delivery of new and innovative operating theatre solutions. As technology advances. and the possibilities of what can be achieved within the sterile environment expand, new designs are needed to accommodate new expectations. The sleek. streamlined operating theatres hospitals are demanding must not only be aesthetically pleasing. but more versatile. more energy efficient. and allow for improved infection control. Screenless ultraclean ventilation (UCV) canopies are becoming increasingly popular, with MAT's new ECO-flow'" DYNAMIC'" canopy appearing in hospitals the length and breadth of the country, from Edinburgh to East Grinstead. However. MAT was right at the forefront of innovation in installing and commissioning successful screen less canopies long before this: in 2011, South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen became home to the first ever completely screenless UK-manufactured UCV system to be installed in a UK hospital - the self-contained FREEFLOW™.

The hospital. which is part of the Western Health and Social Care Trust. wanted to create a modern and technologically advanced operating suite to ensure it could continue to give the people of Enniskillen the best healthcare facilities. and deliver the best patient outcomes.

MAT spent a year developing the FREEFLOW'". consulting extensively with hospitals to come up with a product designed around the demanding everyday usage requirements of operating staff. The most advanced unit on the market. the FREEFLOW™ combines high performance functionality and durability with a clear response to the evolving requirements of modern operating theatres. excelling in three key areas:

  • In response for demands for more space at ceiling level to allow greater flexibility in the choice of equipment and theatre practice, the FREEFLOW'" does away with the traditional screen by using low-level recirculation ducts to prevent entrainment.

  • Housing the fans remotely, rather than in the canopy, means the FREEFLOW™ operates at NR45, a noise level significantly below that specified by HTM 03-01. This creates the optimum environment for the clinical team. reducing fatigue and associated issues.

  • As there are no moving parts within the FREEFLOW™, theatre downtime for maintenance is kept to an absolute minimum.

Five years on. screenless UCV canopies continue to gain popularity and new designs are reaching the market. However. MATs FREEFLOW™ remains the most advanced unit available. pushing the boundaries of what is achievable within the clean zone, and creating the ultimate operating experience for both patients and clinical teams. Like all MATs UCV canopies. the FREEFLOW™ is fully HTM 03-01-compliant. suitable for new and retrofit applications. and available in a full range of clean zone sizes for maximum flexibility of use.

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