Patients who are unable to get to the bathroom can now enjoy a thorough wash from the comfort of their own bed after West Suffolk became one of the country’s first hospitals to start using a state-of-the-art mobile shower.
The new technology has been designed specifically for patients who cannot get to the bathroom, either with help or independently, because of a critical condition or long-term illnesses.
It allows staff to place a lightweight, waterproof sheet underneath the patient which is then fastened to the bed. The patient can then wash using a pressure-controlled shower hose and water heated to suit their individual needs, while a vacuum transfers waste water into a tank for disposal.
Compact and highly manoevarable, the unit is being used on ward F12, which provides care for patients who need isolation and often have long term conditions which need extra hygiene measures.
The £5,000 shower has been paid for with a combination of charitable money and ward funds, and is thought to be the first in use in an acute hospital anywhere in the country.
Gary Ingalla, service manager within the medical division at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “We are delighted with this new mobile shower system, which is making sure patients who are not as mobile can still benefit from the best possible hygiene levels.
“The unit is very useful on ward F12, where we care for lots of patients with long term conditions where good hygiene is essential.
“Although preparing patients to use the mobile shower takes a little longer than a traditional bed bath, the advantages it brings in terms of comfort and cleanliness makes that extra time really worthwhile.
“We are really pleased that West Suffolk Hospital is leading the way with this new technology, which is already making a real difference to the experience our patients have while staying on ward F12.”