‘New standard for infection control’
Medical Services, a leading independent provider of patient transport services to the NHS, has unveiled its new state of the art ambulance station in London.
Equipped with a new fleet of 20 high dependency ambulances, the 'Centre of Excellence' station involved a total investment of £3 million, and is located in Alperton to serve public and private hospitals in west London and the West End.
“It sets a new standard of cleanliness and infection control for independent ambulance companies; our mission is to ensure that patients experience a safe and comfortable journey in clean vehicles which have been specially designed for different uses such as incubators, stretchers and for bariatric patients” said Joe Sheehan, the company’s managing director at an open day.
Vehicles are cleaned to a standard laid down by the National Patient Safety Agency; trained make ready staff were also demonstrating a hand held swab testing device which can measure how clean surfaces and even hands actually are and can provide rapid means of monitoring deep cleaning outcomes. It works by detecting the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a biochemical found in all living organisms and biological residues. If ATP is detected in sufficient quantity on a cleaned surface it means the cleaning was not effective and the surface is a hazard for the spread of bacteria or virus.
At the other end of the technological spectrum, staffs use a regular washing machine at 70 degrees to wash and tumble dry mop heads before re-using.
Incorporating operational management and despatch controllers under the same roof, the station also has its own call centre (although the majority of clients now book on line) with satellite tracking, radio communication and digital telephony linked to 2 other similar sites for resilience purposes.
Supporting the delivery of services there is on site staff training, and maintenance.
The company recently opened another ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Bow to serve hospitals in the City & east London and are upgrading a third in Luton covering North London & Hertfordshire.
“The new integrated stations will provide our customers with a quicker, more efficient and more cost efficient service” added Mr Sheehan.
The company also adheres to strict green policies. For example water used for washing vehicles is channelled into foul water drainage and not into a rainwater run off and in the maintenance area, used engine oil is re-used to power the warm air heater.
Alperton has been fitted with state of the art communications technology. Its control centre is connected to the company’s total fleet of 400 vehicles and 15 hospital desks and 2 other hubs. Each hub acts as fallback centre.
The despatch staff use APTS to transmit journey details over its own secure internet for mobile data; each staff member has a mobile data hand held unit and each vehicle has a tracker SIM in the vehicle to record location and speed.
The IT Centre is equipped with fibre optic access to the company’s secure MPLS network
Alperton is an accredited Health & Safety and Edexcel training centre for continuous personal skill improvement programmes; innovative training features include the use of a hospital bed to safely transfer patients on to a stretcher.
The crew room contains 2 workstations where crews can access E-learning training modules, book absence days or report incidents.