Medical Air Technology (MAT) - Meeting a demanding four week programme at Harrogate District Hospital

When Harrogate District Hospital, managed by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, wanted to completely refurbish and upgrade another of its operating theatres to make it suitable for orthopaedic surgery, Medical Air Technology (MAT) presented a total turnkey solution that combined competitive pricing with a world-class ultraclean ventilation (UCV) system and accompanying equipment package, ensuring patients and staff would benefit from the very best surgical facilities and supporting the hospital’s vision of providing “excellence every time”.

MAT has had a long relationship with the hospital, having installed earlier UCV canopies and also holding the service contract for the hospital’s other ultraclean theatres. The work required a short and efficient programme as other projects were also underway in the hospital, and the new theatre was handed over successfully just four weeks after work began.

MAT provided a complete turkey package, which included the ECO-flow™ UCV canopy, steelwork, ductwork, insulation, electrics, general lights, a new ceiling, theatre lights, a surgeon’s panel with Bluetooth speakers, PACS unit, date points, medical gas pendants and an IPS/UPS circuit. All electrical panels were installed in an engineering cupboard located on the theatre dirty corridor for future maintenance and commissioning purposes.

The success of the project was due in no small part to the outstanding teamwork throughout, with everyone involved collaborating with dedication and care and following a carefully planned programme of works to ensure the tight turnaround time could be met. MAT worked closely with the hospital estates department and theatre manager, Steve Burns, to receive quick decisions and approvals and overcome any unexpected problems. Effective liaison between MAT and Starkstrom resulted in timely approvals, manufacturing times and delivery dates.

Harrogate District Hospital used knowledge and expertise from a highly skilled estates department, with the scheme managed by project managers Helen Sturdy and Maddie Bowles. The department was able to create efficiencies with the use of its internal operational staff for certain elements of the work and maintained good daily liaison between clinicians, contractors and estates staff, who wholly embraced the project.

Lead by Dave Cheesbrough, the team took great pride in the development and offered knowledge and expert advice throughout. To achieve a turnaround of four weeks, the daily co-ordination of the personnel working in the theatre had to be closely managed and critical path work was prioritised each day. Early project planning and constant evaluation, along with weekly meetings between all stakeholders, ensured timely delivery of the theatre. Delivering the project early meant patients could reap the benefits of the new modernised theatre as quickly as possible. The theatre has also proved to be a huge success with the clinicians, who have praised the quality and ease of use of the high standard of equipment and new technology installed.

MAT’s innovative ECO-flow™ UCV canopy is designed to significantly reduce energy usage and cost, without any reduction in the level of performance. It is used extensively throughout the UK and Ireland, allowing hospitals to comply with the guidance outlined in HTM 03-01. The newest version of the ECO-flow™ also allows for integration with the latest imaging equipment, an increasingly popular feature in modern theatres. Harrogate District Hospital wanted their new theatre to offer this flexibility so MAT installed a split screen picture archiving and communication system (PACS) with x-ray viewing facilities.

The PACS unit, supplied by Starkstrom, features front ventilation so can be flush-mounted on the wall with no other connecting services, and is the first of its kind to have been installed in the UK. Surgeons also stipulated that the new theatre should be suitable for training purposes: to facilitate this, MAT installed theatre lights with integral cameras, enabling surgery to be broadcast live to students in the training rooms, including screen pausing and recording options during procedures. IT systems throughout the theatre were upgraded to include wall-mounted computer workstations.

MAT offers a wide breadth of services that mean is it able to respond flexibly and quickly to the specific needs of each client. With its own manufacturing facility and dedicated team of highly skilled engineers, the company manufactures and supplies bespoke equipment for demanding clinical arenas. Clients choosing the total turnkey solution, as Harrogate District Hospital did, gain from having a single point of contact to project manage the entire installation, resulting in benefits such as improved co-ordination, faster response, continuity of drawings, better communication between people and products, and streamlined logistics.

MAT also offers “equipment only” packages, delivered working closely with the main contractor. In addition, MAT FM can provide a range of competitively priced and highly effective service and maintenance packages for all core products and turnkey solutions offered by MAT or other suppliers, ensuring that equipment is maintained, serviced and validated correctly for optimum performance.

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