News round-up: Estates and facilities management

Read on for our weekly round-up of the latest developments in the healthcare estates and facilities management sector

COMMS: Wandsworth wins £1m nursecall deal

THE Wandsworth Group has been awarded a £1m contract to design, manufacture and install a nursecall system for the £430m Bristol Southmead Hospital PFI scheme. The Ethernet-based IPiN system will be installed at the 790-bed facility, which is due to open in 2013. Gary Stevens, managing director of Wandsworth, said: "The IPiN system is a fully addressable IP system which can not only assist in minimising nurse responses times, but can also help to deliver better resource management and operational efficiency thanks to its ability to provide real-time data. What's more, it will also help to futureproof the hospital as it can be integrated with other IP technologies and also offers the ability to provide remote monitoring and fault diagnosis via a secure on-line access." The system will be installed in the smart wall units of all beds at the hospital, as well as in treatment, clinical and acute areas and operating theatres.

CATERING: Trio shares £100k moneypot

THREE firms have been offered government contracts worth £100,000 to develop services that help elderly people live independently in their homes for longer through adopting better approaches to food and nutrition. The awards follow the companies' success in the Independence Matters - Home and Away competition; a joint programme between the Technology Strategy Board and the Design Council. The contracts, awarded through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), will enable the three companies to work with designers to develop human-centred service solutions that help to ensure the independence of adults in older age, and which are ready to be scaled-up and rolled out to the commercial market. The companies are FutureGov, which is developing Casserole, a modern twist on the meals-on-wheels service; SideKick Ventures, which has put together a tool to digitise older adults' home recipes and share them via a private network; and VISION Culture CIC, which will test and develop a system to improve the knowledge and skills of older people. Jackie Marshall-Cyrus, the Technology Strategy Board's lead specialist for assisted living, said: "Much of the current service provision around nutrition encourages older adults to rely on others, rather than seeking to maintain their own skills and independence. These three exciting service projects will offer a way to reverse this, through providing good nutrition and nutritional advice, enabling older adults to continue to interact with food in the way they wish to, and enhancing social interaction."

UTILITIES: Powercut forces closures

WESTERN Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust was forced to cancel routine operations and morning outpatients clinics at Worthing Hospital on 11 November following a major power failure. Fire crews were called to the hospital when the power-cut set off the fire alarm at around 10pm on the 10th, and power was eventually restored after approximately 13 hours. Essential services were maintained by running on a back-up generator. UK Power Networks apologised for the outage and said it was investigating the cause. A spokeswoman said: "Power was restored to all customers except the hospital within an hour, with repair work continuing throughout the night to get the hospital back on supply as swiftly as possible.We were aware of the impact the incident was having on hospital services and gave it the utmost priority, keeping in close contact to keep them updated."

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Pall Medical is holding a free water quality workshop for hospital managers on 1 December. The event in Newcastle will explore current guidelines, interventions and outbreak control measures. Call 023 9230 3600 for details.

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