Lighting technology helps hospital bug battle

Innovative LED range helps NHS slash carbon emissions and fight infection

TiLite LED lighting helps to cut carbon emissions and reduce healthcare associated infections

A unique lighting system is helping to slash carbon emissions, improve infection control and enhance the patient experience at hospitals across the UK.

MHA Lighting, based in Greater Manchester, was recently singled out for praise by shadow health minister, Andy Burnham, for its TiLite range of LED illuminaires.

The system has been designed to help cut CO2, as well as stop the spread of healthcare associated infections such as MRSA and C.difficile .

With a lifespan of 60,000 hours – seven years – the bulbs burn 20% of the energy of traditional fluorescents, while still providing the 4,000kelvin of light the NHS specifies to provide the perfect environment for examining patients.

On top of this, the lights are designed as fully-sealed units to stop dust, bacteria and dead insects from gathering around the warm fittings. With the long lifespan of each unit, the risk of infection spreading during routine maintenance is also significantly reduced.

And the system can be supplied with dimmers, to help hospitals provide a more pleasant healing environment for patients, and there is a nightwatch function, which allows staff to carry out observation duties, while providing low light to encourage sleep among patients.

Trusts are always seeking ways to free up money for clinical care and the battle against superbugs is continuous. MHA Lighting seems to be in possession of a product that can help the NHS on both these fronts

Speaking to BBH about of the impact of the technology, MHA Lighting’s managing director, Tom Harrison, said: “The company started life focusing on the energy savings LED lighting could deliver, but then we began to look at how changing technology could also help hospitals to fight infection.

“One NHS worker I spoke to said that when maintenance workers change fluorescent tubes in traditional fittings, the dead skin from patients can be seen to drop into the atmosphere, and that is a risk to patients.

“Our unit is solid, so insects and dust and other pathogens cannot get to the heat source. Due to its exceptionally long life, it also does not need the sort of routine maintenance of other lighting ranges.

“Since launching, the NHS has become our single biggest customer and we were thrilled that Andy Burnham recently came to visit and recognised the impact we are having on the healthcare environment.”

At the meeting, Burnham said: “Energy-efficient lighting helps save the NHS money and reduces a trust’s carbon footprint. Most importantly, the money saved can be ploughed back into frontline patient services.

“Trusts are always seeking ways to free up money for clinical care and the battle against superbugs is continuous. MHA Lighting seems to be in possession of a product that can help the NHS on both these fronts.”

One organisation that is already using the system is North Devon Hospital Trust, which has installed TiLite 20watt fittings into corridors and reception areas and 30watt fittings into wards, replacing traditional 72watt options throughout.

It is vital lighting units are designed to minimise hospital infection and the maintenance-free aspect assists us in delivering better maintenance services with faster reaction times to the whole hospital

As a result, the trust has seen a 354-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions and has saved 94,866KW/H. With the integration of dimmers, the total energy saving is in excess of 75%.

Moses Warbuton, the trust’s redevelopment manager, said: “With the new lighting system we have made significant savings on our energy bills. It has made a real difference to patients too. It has created a much better atmosphere and even light and less flicker is a huge improvement for those patients with sight problems.

“It is vital lighting units are designed to minimise hospital infection and the maintenance-free aspect assists us in delivering better maintenance services with faster reaction times to the whole hospital.”

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