Improving infection control and privacy and dignity

Acclaim for Silentia screens installed at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust’s new hospital

A project to install Silentia screens at the recently-opened North Walsham Hospital has won plaudits from patients, their visitors and clinical staff alike.

“The screens are easier to clean than curtains and there are no delays in patient admissions,” said Beth Kimber, head of infection prevention and control at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust.

Highlighting other key benefits, Belinda Williamson, modern matron at North Walsham Hospital, added: “Silentia are more robust and give increased privacy and patient dignity. In the old hospital, we had different-height curtain rails and different lengths of curtains. The curtains were heavy, too. A porter had to assist staff when we needed to take the curtains down and replace them. Plus we had to send them away to the laundry for cleaning. We also had to have a spare pair on the ward in case we had an infection, and mas they were quite large they were bulky for storage. The curtains were also not in line with the beds, due to infection control requirements for increased bed spacing.”

Clinical staff say patients feel the screens are better for or their privacy and mare easier to clean

She added: “We had considered using disposable curtains, but they were costly and we would have had to change the tracking. They were also expensive if we had to replace them after an outbreak.

“Patients said the curtains we had did not fit and did not make them feel secure. They also felt that people could hear through them when they were with visitors or clinical staff. The curtains moved all the time if there was a breeze!”

But she added that the new screens had been welcomed by staff and patients.

“They all like the Silentia screens,” she said. “There are four four-bedded wards here mand eight side rooms. All the ward beds have the screens. They are good, really easy to move and there’s a lock on the brake. You can take the castors off to clean them.

“Clinical staff say patients feel the screens are better for or their privacy and mare easier to clean.”

Infection prevention and control nurse, Jackie Thomas, first saw the screens at an exhibition staged as part of a Showcase Hospital event.

She said: “We’re always on the lookout for new ways to improve infection prevention and control, and had the ideal opportunity to have them here as we were building new.”

“We arranged a presentation by Silentia’s Tim Clarke, who brought some screens. We invited clinical staff to have a look and to give us their views. They liked them, but weren’t really sure until they saw them fixed to the wall when they were installed.

“Staff have soon got used to them and they like them. The wards look open and uncluttered. It’s a lot neater.

Lisclare/Silentia supply a range of flexible partitions and screens for the purpose of creating privacy and dignity within an open area.

The screens are either fixed to the wall or can be portable. They come in a range of lengths from 1.25m to 4.75m, and two different heights, 1.85m and 1.45m. They are also supplied in a range of colours.

The screens can be used for screening off areas for physiotherapy, private conversations, first aid, blood tests etc or just as a relaxation area.

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