Upholding the highest hygiene standards in hospitals and health centres is crucial to the wellbeing and rehabilitation of patients.
Germs and bacteria are an unavoidable fact of life, but the risk of their mutation into something more serious and debilitating increases greatly in public spaces. This is particularly pertinent to hospitals in which patients, some of whom will be elderly, infirm and more susceptible to infection, reside.
In the EU, approximately 4.1 million patients acquire a Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) each year and at least 37,000 patients die as a result. Therefore, the make-up and performance of flooring in medical centres and the like is of the utmost importance.However, the refurbishment of such facilities is not without its challenges. Cost is a major factor to consider, particularly with health authority spending under ever-closer scrutiny. Time is another issue. Floor refurbishment in public places such as hospitals will often take place in a live environment. It is therefore imperative that a floor’s restoration for example, is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to minimise disruption to staff going about their duty of care.
This swift, concentrated effort will also ensure refurbished areas will be returned to active purpose in the shortest time possible.
Fit for purpose?
Although not always appropriate, refurbishment would be a preferable option for health authorities when it comes to ensuring facilities are fit for modern purpose. Renovation is a cost-effective alternative to building from the ground-up. It’s also better for the environment, requiring fewer materials and less labour which results in reduced waste and emissions.
In technical terms, the construction industry has been required to ‘up its game’ in order to develop products and practices which deliver big results within budget and without detrimental effect to a client’s ongoing commercial or public sector activity. Sika’s Comfortfloor® range presents a perfect example of a solution created to meet a 21st century demand for smarter, cleaner, high-quality building solutions. As well as meeting the needs of patients and staff, healthcare facilities must attain Building Regulations and Health and Safety legislation.
Sika Comfortfloor®’s smooth, seamless finish fully encompasses the requirements of HBN 00-10 – the Department of Health’s policy and performance standards for floor, wall and coating systems used in healthcare facilities where infection prevention and control is essential.
Resin flooring has a host of desirable properties – durable, non-slip, easy-to-clean, smooth and easily repaired – making it the ideal surface for areas of high footfall and heavy, hi-tech machinery in need of regular, chemically-aggressive cleansing. The increased slip resistance of resin-based floor coverings, such as Sika Comfortfloor®, over traditional vinyl coverings, is a particular benefit when used in the healthcare sector.
According to Health and Safety Executive figures, more than 50% of reported major injuries in this area are related to slips, trips and falls to staff and patients. These accidents will not only cause serious injury, in extreme cases, could lead to fatalities as a result of the heightened vulnerability of the client group. Suitable for a variety of commercial and public buildings, such as schools, museums, retail and leisure facilities, the superior acoustic performance of Sika Comfortfloor® makes it ideal for a hospital environment where noise reduction is paramount. Sika Comfortfloor® also meets internationally-recognised, environmental sustainability standards such as LEED and BREEAM.
This means its low VOC emissions contribute to healthier indoor quality, resulting in reduced impact on patients, staff and the hospital environment.Installing Sika Comfortfloor® represents a true upgrade of one of a building’s elemental aspects. In fact, it could be said it’s the ‘healthy option’, as its non-slip properties will reduce accidents to hospital patients and staff, as well help maintain regulatory levels of hygiene. Sika Comfortfloor® adds a smart, durable and seamless dimension to any refurbishment where safety and comfort is a primary concern.