Medstor at NHS Lanarkshire - installing safer, more efficient storage solutions

When NHS Lanarkshire wanted to refurbish theatre storage in all three of its hospitals, maximising space and introducing a safer and more efficient way to store theatre instrument tray packs, Medstor was able to design and deliver a solution that surpassed expectations, streamlining the entire storage system and helping to reduce wastage on surplus stock

The system will consolidate processes across NHS Lanarkshire and is now up and running successfully at Wishaw Hospital and Hairmyres Hospital, with Monklands Hospital to follow by the end of the year. The system features cabinets and racking from Medstor’s wide portfolio of innovative materials management solutions, addressing specific issues identified by the clinical teams.

The primary storage issue NHS Lanarkshire faced was that sterile theatre instrument trays, packed and stacked ready for use, were getting slight tears from the existing racking and transport system in use in its hospitals. NHS Lanarkshire uses an external sterile services provider, Synergy Health in Bellshill, so damaged packs then had to be sent away to be repacked. Medstor replaced the entire scheme with the Metro Toptrack System, of which it is an official distributor. Metro Toptrack not only offers smooth, snag-free construction and good airflow, but also provides extra capacity, allowing tray packs to be stacked just one or two high for easy and safe removal without ripping. In addition to storage racking, Toptrack features mobile units, so when needed, packs can be moved easily, reducing handling and the accompanying risk of damage. The shelf height on the mobile units is set at the same level as the shelves on the racking, meaning packs can be picked and placed on the shelves without compromising health and safety. Since the new system was installed at Wishaw Hospital, incidents of damaged packs have been reduced to zero, confirming its success.

The new storerooms also include Medstor’s HTM 71 storage cabinets, featuring the company’s unique tray and liner system. The cabinets make it easy to be organised: designed to accommodate a wide range of theatre consumables, all simple to see and access, they make the most of every bit of available space. The cabinets transform the process of monitoring stock levels and rotating contents, helping NHS Lanarkshire as they requested by eliminating wastage, avoiding stock outs and supporting time and cost efficiencies.

Sister Fiona McHugh, theatre manager at Wishaw Hospital, says of the new storerooms: “Medstor shelving has made a massive improvement to my area in a busy theatre department. In our instrument room, our sets are stocked one or two high and we have had no incidents with burst sets. The drawer system allows for rotation of stock. I also removed seven cages of overstock items from the area when the system was installed. My staff are finding the Medstor system easier to use and a massive improvement on our old system.”

Wishaw Hospital has 12 theatres, three of which are for emergency cases. As installation was carried out in a live theatre environment with many theatres still operating as normal during the refit, all work was done over a weekend to cause as little disruption as possible. Sister McHugh carried out full due diligence for controlling risk in the theatre environment, ensuring the stability and integrity of the active theatres was maintained and working closely with the Medstor installation team throughout.

The hospital staff still needed to be able to access the goods in the storerooms while work was underway, particularly the tray packs, so Medstor provided instrument transport bays to hold the trays while the new racking was being installed. All the new storage equipment – 48 cabinets and 30 racking bays – had to be transported from the loading bay to the theatre storerooms as quickly as possible using the standard hospital lifts, also used by visitors and hospital staff. Health and safety considerations meant the Medstor installation team could only use empty lifts to transport the equipment, having to wait for gaps in use. In order to make these complex logistics work, Medstor brought in two additional teams; thanks to the support of hospital staff, the deadline was met and the newly refurbished storerooms were ready for use by the Monday morning, as planned.

The storage solutions Medstor provided for NHS Lanarkshire are typical of the highly effective products it designs for healthcare facilities throughout the world. At Medstor, innovation drives every design, resulting in an outstanding range of products that combine functionality with style - the beautifully clean, sleek lines of each cabinet or racking system dramatically increase storage capacity and support infection control measures as well as enhancing theatre or ward design. As everything made by Medstor is designed and built in-house in the UK, quality is controlled from start to finish, with a dedicated team working to guarantee the most successful and aesthetic utilisation of space.

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