How disposables are key to infection control

Disposable curtains are one tool in the battle against the spread of infection, providing an environment that bacteria finds hard to colonise, and providing healthcare providers with an easily replaceable option which removes the need for frequent laundering.

Infection control is absolutely crucial in any healthcare environment, especially right now as we are seeing the spread of Covid-19 or coronavirus. In some ways this is just the latest in a string of high profile infections that the healthcare profession is fighting against. “Super Bugs” like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are often harmless unless they find environments in which to multiply and spread.

Standard fabric curtains and blinds, no matter how carefully cleaned and laundered, can become a breeding ground for bacteria. In any healthcare environment, this can be disastrous.

Soiled and old fabrics can be that perfect environment, endangering patients within healthcare environments who are suffering from other illnesses which makes them more susceptible to infection.

Disposables and Infection Control – Curtains in Hospitals

Within the hospital environment, disposable curtains are used for a variety of purposes. Think about any standard hospital ward you might have visited. Nearly all the beds will have curtain rails around them with curtains, either disposable or not, used to create a modicum of privacy. This can be useful when examinations are required, when visitors arrive, or when the patient simply wants a little privacy or rest.

Curtains create the illusion of four walls without having to split a hospital or other healthcare environment into lots of tiny box rooms, which is not practical for the transportation of patients or medical equipment. Disposable curtains add to this by removing the need to have piles and piles of laundry which then becomes a breeding ground for all types of bacteria.

Disposable curtains can be fixed in a variety of means, from clips to hooks, and once they have outlived their purpose, they are responsibly disposed of. This means that any bacteria leaves the hospital with them, rather than being carried around the hospital to laundry rooms, where standard fabric curtains may sit for some time before being laundered. During this time bacteria can multiply, which is one of the potential causes of outbreaks of infection within a hospital environment.

Professionally installed, easy to clean and maintain disposable curtains remove this risk, keeping the spread of infection to an absolute minimum.

In a healthcare environment where quarantine is required, such as we are seeing with Covid-19, disposables are key. Having an environment where linens, blinds and curtains can be regularly changed, taken away and properly destroyed, is a key component in the fight against any infection like this and important to ensure that a quarantine environment can be adequately maintained.

Other Healthcare Environments

Disposable curtains aren’t just used in hospitals. Many healthcare situations call for curtains and partitions, and disposables make it easy to change and adapt these as needed. Smaller healthcare centres in suburbs and small towns are often split into several sections dealing with everything from gynaecology to physiotherapy. Someone who comes in with a damaged rotator cuff may also be carrying a dangerous form of bacteria, without even knowing it. Pulling the curtains around while they take their t-shirt off to show the physiotherapist protects the patient’s privacy.

Using disposable curtains protects other patients as the next time those curtains are changed, they will be carefully disposed of, thus removing any trace of that bacteria that got on the curtain when the patient touched them.

Disposable Curtains in Care Homes

Care homes tend not to have stringent policies on the changing of drapes and curtains – unlike hospitals which have to follow NHS guidelines. This means that curtains within a resident’s room could be left for long periods of time, then simply laundered and returned without really considering the fact that these curtains could be harbouring dangerous bacteria – which could be additionally harmful to elderly or vulnerable residents.

Disposable curtains are a simple way to prevent the spread of bacteria, especially during the changeover of residents. When a room is passed from one resident to the other, disposable curtains can be got rid of, completely preventing the transmission of bacteria from one resident to the next. Grosvenor’s disposable curtains are resistant to bacteria, so even before the curtains get replaced, they will be helping fight the spread of infection and protecting the most vulnerable residents from harm.

The Importance of Infection Control

Today, more than ever, effective infection control is crucial. As we have seen with Covid-19, this is just the latest example of viruses spreading from one country to the next. It might seem sensational, but the simple fact is that bacteria and viruses can spread like wildfire if not controlled properly.

Thankfully, with proper infection control within hospitals, the spread of dangerous microorganisms can be halted. Some actions are obvious, like regular washing and sanitising of hands and disposing of sharps correctly. But other actions need the help of a professional team that understands the role that curtains, blinds and partitions have in slowing and preventing the spread of infection.

Disposable partition curtains allow healthcare teams to manage a range of medical issues safe in the knowledge that any bacteria that does make its way onto these curtains will be disposed of along with the curtains once they are changed.

The disposable curtains supplied by us at Grosvenor Contracts are carefully crafted from 100% polypropylene, which does not support the growth of bacteria – yet another way that Grosvenor are fighting the spread of infectious diseases. The curtains are also water-resistant. Curtains that can become damp can end up harbouring many forms of bacteria, which often need a warm, moist environment in which to incubate. Water-resistant curtains remove the environments which are conducive to bacterial growth, creating a safer environment for patients.

Reducing Costs

The NHS needs to save money, and private healthcare associations run on profits. Laundering thousands of curtains is a costly job and is also harsh on the environment thanks to the amount of water, energy and chemicals used. Switching to disposables saves healthcare organisations so much money, and is better for the planet too.

The Benefits of Choosing Grosvenor Contracts

We pride ourselves on the speed and efficiency with which they can provide healthcare environments with new disposable curtains. We understand that each healthcare situation has its own particular needs and requirements, and will provide a unique quote based on this. Once the client is happy with the quote, we work quickly to get the disposables into place.

Recently, we were able to provide a notable healthcare environment with a 48-hour service, from quote to completed finish. Yet another way in which Grosvenor is supporting healthcare providers in their fight against the spread of infection.

Blinds from Grosvenor Contracts

We also provide a range of other disposable and easy to clean items and accessories for healthcare environments, including a diverse range of blinds. We have been supplying and installing blinds for nearly two decades, and their blinds are available through the NHS Supplychain Textiles and Blinds Framework Agreement: FAG 15285.

Blinds can be a massive boon in areas where curtains could be dangerous. Mental health support clinics and providers may be concerned about the possibilities of self-harm using curtains and their fastenings. Our anti-ligature blinds help provide peace of mind, as they are fixed to walls and ceilings using magnets. This means that if the blind was suddenly under an abnormal weight, it would break away from the fixings, minimising the harm done. These types of blinds could also be useful in environments where children or those under care needed additional protection and support.

Other options for blinds include electric, automated blinds. Not only are these professional and impressive, they reduce the spread of infection because users don’t need to actually touch the blinds every time they need to open or close them. Many types of bacteria are spread via touch, and even with regular hand sanitisation, bacteria can be spread from surface to surface simply by touching things like door handles, paperwork, and of course, curtains and blinds. Having a fully bespoke, automated system of blinds massively reduces the opportunities for bacteria to spread in this way.

Automated blinds can be powered by mains electricity or a battery source, making them completely versatile and possible to use even in temporary buildings. Clients can decide whether they want wall-mounted controls or a fully remote control, and even which blinds will be controlled at the same time. All these blinds are easy to wipe and clean, keeping the spread of bacteria to an absolute minimum.

Get in touch for a quote today

Call us today on 020 7237 0099 and speak to a friendly member of our dedicated team about your healthcare environment and how we can help.