The Need

The John Radcliffe Hospital services a population of 640,000 people and face the challenges of increased demand for endoscopy procedures as outlined in the NHS’s Long-Term Plan to improve cancer diagnostics rates with earlier detection. The hospital identified that the 10-year-old Endoscope Decontamination facility required refurbishment and the installation of more reliable, compliant and higher-tech equipment to cope with the continued demand.

The cost of this refurbishment programme would be £2.3 million and entailed the closure of its Endoscopy Decontamination department for several months. The hospital needed a solution that would avoid disruption and maintain its patient numbers and safety levels. The closure of a vital service was not an option, therefore the hospital considered a variety of opportunities including temporary modular buildings, renting or buying a mobile unit, and even moving to another estate. After working with Vanguard Healthcare Solutions in previous years, the Vanguard mobile Endoscopy Decontamination unit was the only solution that met their requirements and budget.

The Vanguard Plan

Working with the hospital’s clinical, management and estate teams, Vanguard Healthcare Solutions designed and built an Endoscopy Decontamination mobile unit, the first of its kind in the Vanguard fleet, to suit the hospital needs and specifications. This included four AERs, two drying cabinets, a pass-through hatch and a RO system that offers 100% redundancy. After conducting a site survey, the unit was delivered and installed by a dedicated and highly-skilled transport and logistics team, and placed towards the back of the hospital. Vanguard ensured the unit was in place and commissioned to meet the timeframes needed for a smooth crossover between the existing facilities and transfer to the mobile unit to maintain service, quality and to work at full capacity.


The Vanguard Solution

The purpose-built Endoscopy Decontamination Unit featured a plant room, clean room, dirty room, a pass-through endoscope washer and disinfector area, and a staff welfare area. The unit is fully HTM compliant, including all aspects relating to fire safety and water quality. Vanguard designed the unit to have windows and glass doors to flood in natural light to create an enjoyable and safe work environment for hospital employees.

To be able to disinfect all channelled flexible scopes, the unit was equipped with modern and high-spec equipment that was on par with the hospitals’ own technology. This equipment included an electronic-tracking system, automated water system, a leak detector, and an anti-fume and anti-spill chemical cabinet. Vanguard also provided a facilitator to work alongside the hospital team to ensure the smooth and efficient running of the unit.

The Outcome

Since the Endoscopy Decontamination unit was installed in August 2018, the hospital has managed to maintain its services at full capacity and without disruption. Almost 10,000 scopes have been decontaminated so far and the unit has enabled the hospital to continue to meet the criteria needed for JAG accreditation. With the demand for Endoscopy increasing by 8-10% each year, the Vanguard unit has allowed the hospital to keep its Endoscopy Decontamination services running at 6 days a week along with two additional late evenings.

The unit has provided flexibility and time to the hospital, giving them enough time to efficiently train staff on the new equipment as well as continuing to maintain their service levels at the same time.

Lindsey Gander, Decontamination Supervisor (Endoscopy), “I will admit in the beginning I was concerned about the mobile unit however after working in there, I was really pleased. It has been a godsend and the team really love working in there, they especially love having windows.”