Health centre fights war on germs

Queensway Health Centre, Hatfield, installed EasyClean LST to provide an easily cleaned, low-maintenance heating system that significantly reduces the risk of infection and lowers running costs

EasyClean LST has been installed at the Queensway Health Centre

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust has selected EasyClean LST to solve the various heating problems they faced when redeveloping the Queensway Health Centre in Hatfield.

Developed in conjunction with the NHS, the EasyClean LST has evolved from ThermaSkirt, the successful heated skirting board, to provide an easily cleaned, low-maintenance heating system that significantly reduces the risk of infection and lowers running costs.

The Queensway Health Centre in Hatfield underwent a £3m redevelopment and specified EasyClean LST as it provided solutions to all of the health centre’s heating requirements and is easily retrofitted into existing buildings.

Many healthcare facilities find a significant proportion of their maintenance budgets are wasted on old, inefficient heating systems that are expensive to run. Comprising large buildings with multiple open areas, hospitals require a heating system to be economical, reliable and easily controllable all whilst providing a comfortable environment for patients.

A key area of concern is infection control, and a great effort is made to eliminate any areas where infectious spores and germs breed. Traditional radiators require covers to achieve low surface temperature health and safety standards, but these then become a dirt trap that entails a high level of maintenance to clean. This is not only time consuming, but also prevents the delivery of services as the room is out of action while the covers are removed.

After some research, and recommendations from previous projects, both NHS and private, EasyClean LST was specified by project manager Andrew Philips from Ampersand Associates to be used as the heating method throughout the clinic.

Being a radiant heated baseboard, EasyClean LST is connected onto a traditional plumbed system and provides an allround comfortable heat that is similar to that of underfloor heating without the disruption associated with underfloor heating. EasyClean LST’s flexibility and simplicity in design allows it to be applied to accommodate all room sizes and layouts while freeing up wall space unlike conventional radiators.

The grill-free profile blends seamlessly with the wall, eliminating any gaps or areas in which dirt and germs can accumulate and pose a health risk. This also significantly reduces maintenance time and costs as EasyClean can be wiped down when the floors are mopped rather than needing specialist equipment. EasyClean’s suitability for the healthcare sector is furthered with its natural anti-ligature design and absence of sharp edges and exposed pipes that can pose trip hazards.

Having been independently tested against conventional radiators, EasyClean LST has been proven to be more energy efficient due to the systems naturally-low running temperatures, allowing the entire heating system to operate more efficiently and reduce energy bills, and thus carbon footprint.

After being installed on time and in budget, the client has expressed its interest in using the product again on other NHS refurbishment projects.

Graham Bell, head of capital projects for NHS Property Services, said: “As part of the Queensway Health Clinic refurbishment we were very keen to ensure an energy efficient delivery of heat, while maintaining patient safety and to design out cleaning troubles, which are typically experienced with traditional radiators especially when they are fitted with an LST cover. Specifying ThermaSkirt has achieved all of the above”

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