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Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) provides general and emergency health care services to children across the UK and internationally, as well as being the only hospital in the UK to carry out intestinal transplants in children.

Specialising in liver transplantation, cardiac, and neonatal surgery, BCH also hosts the West Midlands Regional Centre for Cleft Lip and Palate. The centre provides a multidisciplinary service for cleft patients, including speech & language therapy, dental, orthodontics, maxillofacial, plastic surgery and psychology.

The hospital is managed by the Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and is internationally recognised as being one of the best of such centres in the World.

As a Grade A listed building, BCH has an immovable footprint and despite year on year increases in admissions, the NHS Foundation Trust continues to make best use of the hospital’s limiting infrastructure.

The Brief

In 2010, the Foundation Trust agreed plans to construct a new laparoscopic (keyhole surgery) theatre at the hospital and a large area of floor space, occupied by the theatre’s surgical storeroom, was identified as being suitable. The knock-on effect would reduce the storeroom’s overall capacity by 35%.

Despite an uplift of 10% more equipment and consumables from the previous year, the theatre resource manager was tasked with providing a new storage solution that not only maintained the efficiencies of the laparoscopic theatre, but also complied with NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines. The only alternative was to relocate the theatre’s stores to another part of the hospital, which would potentially have a detrimental effect on the smooth running of the theatre.

As Link 51 had successfully carried out a smaller storage installation in another part of the Children’s Hospital, they were asked to submit a feasibility study for the scaled down laparoscopic theatre storeroom.

The Solution

Link 51’s project manager initially collated all in-store items, including surgical instruments and sterile theatre equipment. At this early stage, an understanding of the relationship between the various surgical, non-surgical and consumable items was required to confirm that the storage solution proposed by Link 51 followed lean process principles and provided easy access and control of stock levels.

This audit also led to a better understanding as to what bulkier items the store did not have to hold and the amount of consumables that were required on a just-in-time (JIT) basis, based on their rate of use.

The full inventory of the store’s £3/4m of stock included collating the dimensions of all items, so that a bespoke storage solution could be matched to the space available.

Working in conjunction with local architects Horsley Huber Architects Ltd., Link 51’s feasibility study progressed through various revisions prior to being agreed and, against significant time constraints, the following bespoke storage components were manufactured and successfully installed:

  • Two blocks of Stormor mobile shelving containing items such as airway and breathing apparatus. The mobile units allowed for two working aisles and provided twelve bays each, giving a total of 24 bays.
  • The mobile blocks were indispersed with static Stormor shelving, configured to provide multiple ‘pigeon hole’ storage for smaller items such as suture materials and associated consumables.
  • Additional static Stormor shelving, incorporating two lockable cabinets for high value surgical and anaesthetic equipment.
  • Euro Shelving storage bays, providing extra load capacity for the store’s bulkier and heavier items such as pre-packed, sterile instrument procedure trays.

BioCote® anti-bacterial finish, offered by Link 51 as standard, was applied to all internal and external shelving surfaces. The silver-based anti-microbial technology, extensively tested and proven to work in the hospital environment during peer-reviewed trials, help reduce levels of bacteria by an average of 95%.

Despite the reduction of 35% storeroom capacity and the addition of 10% more equipment, the storage solution designed and installed by Link 51 ensured that all surgical and theatre items, including those consumables required on a JIT basis, were allocated storage in the new facility.

Bulky items, identified by Link 51’s initial audit and not required on a JIT basis, were re-located thereby affording additional space. By using Link 51, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust benefited from:

  • UK-based in-house manufacturing capability
  • Fully managed market-leading bespoke storage solutions
  • Extensive knowledge and experience
  • High-quality product range combining strength, durability and operational reliability

“With initial doubts that the reduction in our floor space capacity would work and with a relocation to another part of the hospital imminent, Link 51’s consultative approach and tenacity finally proved us wrong. Even despite architectural room plan changes and many layout revisions later, Link 51 has ensured that the laparoscopic theatre storeroom is able to maintain its operating efficiency and that it continues to provide a high level of service support.”

Mike Jones, Theatre Resource Manager – Birmingham Children’s Hospital

For more information on any of the products specified for Birmingham Children’s Hospital  please call us on 08000 733 300.

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