Welsh health board adopts Vernacare innovation in hygienic patient toileting


Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board rolls out solution at district and community hospitals

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has selected newly-designed VernaChair commode chairs from Vernacare for its three district general hospitals and other acute and community hospitals across North Wales.

The decision follows positive feedback from nursing staff who had used the commode chairs on two wards at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

“Nurses reported that the commode was easy to clean and gave a good visual impression to patients.

The VernaChair was developed collaboratively with clinicians from across the healthcare sector. The aim was to create a robust, easy-clean product, which would reduce the risk of healthcare associated infections.

Christine Jeffrey, specialist matron for infection prevention, was involved in the new product development process.

She said: "Vernacare has listened carefully to the views of healthcare professionals and developed a new commode chair that is practical to use, looks good, and can be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly and effectively.

"I particularly like the lifting arms, which make it easier to clean and to inspect during infection prevention spot checks. It's easy to strip the chair down and disinfect it using sporicidal wipes or other cleaning methods. The commode lid can be hung on the back of the chair, which is more convenient and better from a hygiene perspective. The removable footrest that slides back to reduce the hazard of tripping is also a good design feature.

"We compared the commode chair to similar products and concluded that Vernacare's commode offered the best value, so we decided to test it on an elderly care ward and a surgical ward. Based on user feedback and product analysis from our infection prevention team and other colleagues, we are recommending it be introduced across the health board as our current commodes become due for replacement."

Natalie Reaney, account manager for Vernacare, added: "Faeces contains just about every group of human pathogen, so thorough commode cleaning after each use is essential. We've made this process quicker and simpler. The stainless steel frame and plastic moulded parts are easy to remove and will withstand steam cleaning or thermal disinfection.”

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To assist the introduction of the new product, Vernacare is continuing to offer educational support to customers, including ward-based training, commode audits and educational posters.