News round-up: Estates and facilities management

PEST CONTROL: Hospital probe after trapped pigeons left in cages without water during heatwave

ESTATES and facilities managers at a Bristol hospital trust are investigating concerns by animal rights campaigners that trapped pigeons were left in cages for hours in the baking sun. Pest control efforts at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust have been criticised by members of Bristol Animal Rights after it was alleged a trapping exercise meant some of the birds were trapped without water on one of the hottest days of the year. The birds were allegedly caught around the Old Building at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. This week a spokeswoman for the trust said: "We have been contacted on this matter and are in the process of fully investigating the concerns raised. We work closely with, and have taken advice from, our external pest control provider to ensure the measures we undertake across all of our city centre hospitals are appropriate. There are national standards in place for the provision of fresh food and water for pigeons caught in traps and we exceed those standards. The trust has also spoken to the RSPCA about this issue. We take all pest control across our complex site very seriously and have a number of ongoing preventative measures in place to minimise pest activity."

COMMUNICATIONS: Nursecall system implemented at Welsh hospital

A NEW nursecall system is being implemented at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. The Wandsworth Group has been contracted to design, supply, install and commission the innovative IPiN system across the emergency department, day surgery unit and12 wards. The deployment is being carried out on a phased basis while a wider refurbishment project is underway. A hospital spokesman said: "The IPiN system provides us with an efficient nursecall system and a useful management tool as it logs call and response patterns. The flexibility of the system is also a great advantage and, once staff are trained, it is easy to reconfigure should we change the use of space within the hospital and IT offers the possibility of integration with other systems from other manufacturers as the hospital's needs change."

LIGHTING: LED lights cut energy costs and help battle bugs

SEALED LED lighting units have recently been installed at Barnstaple's North Devon District Hospital to help reduce its carbon footprint and fight infection rates. The energy-efficient sealed units from MHA Lighting stop dust, dead insects and bacteria from accumulating around the light source, and the LEDs have a 60,000 hour lifespan which reduces the need for routine maintenance. Moses Warburton, redevelopment manager at North Devon Healthcare Trust, said: "With the new system we have made significant savings to our energy bills and it has created a much better atmosphere for our patients and staff, as even light and less flicker is a huge improvement for patients with sight problems. It is vital lighting units are designed to minimise infection and the maintenance-free aspect assists us in delivering better maintenance services with faster reaction times to the whole hospital."

VENTILATION: New toolkit covers design and specification of new buildings

HEALTHCARE estates and facilities managers are being offered a helping hand with the launch of a new toolkit. Natural ventilation specialist, Breathing Buildings, will launch the Whole Building Ventilation Strategy Selection toolkit later this year. Created in conjunction with solutions manufacturer, Nuaire, the toolkit is designed to act as a reference for mechanical engineers involved in the design and specification of new buildings, helping them determine the most appropriate ventilation strategy. David Hamlyn, consulting engineer at Breathing Buildings, explained: "With rising energy prices, the need for effective ventilation is increasing. We have put together this toolkit, not only to help mechanical engineers in the specification of efficient ventilation, but also to enable them to combine natural and mechanical ventilation elements to produce a more-effective system overall."

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

RADA has brought out a new range of timed flow controls that will help estates and facilities managers meet increasingly-strict rules on energy and water consumption. Each system has undergone a 250,000 on/off test cycle and downtime in minimised with an all-in-one cartridge for easier maintenance.

Featured Companies

Wandsworth Healthcare (more information, website)

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