Rising demand threatens to outstrip endoscope decontamination capacity

Vanguard Healthcare Solutions recently launched mobile Endoscope Decontamination Units to help hospitals meet increased demand for endoscopy procedures. This requirement is rising by an estimated 10% year-on-year across the UK. Now one of the new units will help Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust maintain services for patients while improvement works are underway.

Set in mobile clinical units, the specialist suites clean or “decontaminate” equipment used in endoscopic procedures. These can include gastric, bowel and chest examinations.

Vanguard's mobile endoscope decontamination unit side view

Vanguard launches new product to support hospitals

The Endoscope Decontamination Unit is fully HTM compliant, including all aspects relating to fire safety. It has been designed in accordance with JAG guidelines. With dedicated entrance and exit doors, the workflow of the unit means dirty and clean scopes are always separate.

It provides a spacious, climate-controlled work environment with natural light through windows and glass doors. It also features a staff welfare area. The design and equipment phases included consultation with frontline clinical staff. They enable hospitals to continue endoscopy services when their own in-house decontamination areas are out of service. This can be because they are running at full capacity, equipment needs replacing or due to breakdowns.

An Endoscope Decontamination Unit will support ongoing endoscopic procedures at John Radcliffe Hospital while the Trust develops an improved permanent facility.

The suite will be on site for nine months. It will be able to decontaminate up to 120 endoscopes daily. These will have delivered a range of procedures, including colonoscopies and gastric examinations.

Vanguard won the contract to provide the specialist Endoscope Decontamination Unit after being successful in a mini-competition within the North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative framework.

Steve Peak, Vanguard Delivery and Development Director, said: “Hospital facilities are managing heavy workloads and any closures, whether unplanned or as part of a scheduled refurbishment, can have a significant impact on the hospital’s service provision.

“We are delighted that we have been able to support the John Radcliffe Hospital in this way while they improve their existing facilities and develop a new, up to date permanent unit. We have worked closely with them to ensure the design of the facility meets their needs.”