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Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest hospital trusts in the country and provides high quality acute elective and specialist care for a population of more than 612,000 people.

The Trust was formed in 2002 with the merger of Gloucestershire Royal and East Gloucestershire NHS Trusts and runs both Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals. The Trust’s hospitals are district general hospitals with a tradition of providing high quality hospital services; some specialist departments are concentrated at either Cheltenham General or Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals, so that the best use of expertise and specialist equipment can be made.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is committed to a systematic and planned approach to the Management of Records within the organisation, from their creation to their ultimate disposal.

The Brief

With storage facilities located at both Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals, the Trust’s patient records are managed centrally, with records split between each facility. Due to increased patient numbers at both hospitals, together with outdated storage systems, the Trust carried out a patient records storage review at each site.

The Cheltenham records facility is based off-site in Cheltenham College’s former Victorian swimming baths. Built in 1871, this Grade 2 listed building has been renovated to accommodate the patient records over the pool itself. Of architectural importance, it retains many of its existing features, such as front-divide changing cubicles and yellow brick with black tile courses throughout.

With records contained within outdated mobile and static racking, together with the lack of a maintenance contract, the Trust approved a budget to update the storage system.

The records storage facility at Gloucester Hospital is based in a temporary building construction on-site. Part of the building houses the existing mobile racking, which had reached capacity with the remainder of the building configured as office space. To increase patient record capacity, the Trust approved plans to double capacity by replacing the existing office space with mobile racking.

Procured as a solution through the NHS Supply Chain contract (Contract ID NF001207), Link 51 were invited to tender for the refurbishment and installation work at both sites and following a full evaluation process, were awarded the contract. Link 51 have extensive experience in health record storage and retrieval.

The Solution

So that routine records management work at both sites could continue, the overall plan was to refurbish the Gloucester site first and install mobile racking; thereafter to move a third of Cheltenham’s patient records over to the new mobile racking at Gloucester, a third to a commercial document storage company and to keep the remaining third on site.

Once this initial phase was complete, Link 51 installed a total of 18 x 9.7m long mobile units and static shelving to provide 2850 linear metres of new storage. As the installation was sited in an existing pre-fabricated building, Link 51 worked with the Trust to ensure the floor was suitably strengthened to accommodate a mobile installation – the supporting steelwork also incorporates a re-levelling system to take into consideration any deflection that may occur when the system was fully loaded.

With the planned reduction in capacity at Cheltenham, refurbishment and preparation work began on site with the dismantling of the old mobile units and static racking.

Once complete, Link 51 installed a total of 24 x 12.7m long mobile units and static shelving to provide a further 6000 linear metres of new storage – a significant increase on the existing installation, whilst remaining in the same building. The reduction in mobile bases also created additional picking faces, which in turn has increased picking efficiency – as the number of times the mobile needs to be moved to access records is reduced.

The storage solution also features BioCote®, a silver-based anti-microbial agent in the paint finish as standard, to help reduce the risks associated with bacterial cross-contamination from surfaces with high contact frequency, such as shelving. BioCote®, tested extensively in trials, has been proven to work in hospital environments by reducing levels of bacteria by an average of 95%.

By using Link 51, the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust benefited from:

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

“From designing each system to project managing both installations, Link 51 carried out the work at each site with the utmost professionalism, ensuring that records management staff and their routine had minimal disruption during the process. We are very pleased with the outcome, which has provided badly needed extra capacity and will help to increase our overall efficiency.” – Thelma Turner, Health Records Manager

To find out more about how we can help with your storage needs call us on 0800 169 5151.

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