Over 50 years ago when we invented the single-use system, we knew it would truly revolutionise the patient experience.
What do you think about when you hear ‘pulp’? You might imagine the English rock band, fronted by Jarvis Cocker and their popular ‘Common People’. Or you may be more of the Tarantino frame of mind with Uma Thurman’s memorable performance as Mia, the ultimate mob wife. When Vernacare talk about pulp, we’re talking about the material that forms all of our single-use containers famous in healthcare facilities all around the globe. You might have read that all medical pulp is the same, and that’s not true. So here we are to bring you pulp facts, and no pulp fiction.
Why use a disposable pulp bedpan or urinal instead of a plastic or stainless steel alternative?
Over 50 years ago when we invented the single-use system, we knew it would truly revolutionise the patient experience. Our disposable pulp containers mean you get a clean bedpan, urinal or bowl every time, and the use of our containers has been proven to reduce the risk of cross-infection (American Journal of Infection Control, (Am J Infect Control 2011;39:566-70). Plastic and stainless steel equivalents, even after being cleaned, have been found by microbiologists to contain pathogens including Clostridium Difficile, MRSA and VRE which are harmful to sick patients with weaker immune systems.
Where does our medical pulp come from?
We use 6000 tonnes of recycled over-issued newsprint to make Vernacare pulp each year. We’ve always been environmentally conscious, and by using this clean raw material in our processes, we can be assured there is no kerb side bacteria in our recycled paper. Our pulp is manufactured in the UK at our production facility in Bolton, Lancashire.
What do we do with our pulp?
We produce 165 million units every year from our headquarters in Bolton and transport our goods to over 50 countries across the world, providing cleaner, safer healthcare around the globe. Our products are made from newspaper, water, a waterproofing agent and 50 years of experience. They start off as a wet mixture, are formed and are then dried to make a wide range of disposable containers. They’re designed to be used once, then disposed of in a machine called a macerator. Using our unique SmartFlow™ technology the macerator then breaks down the container into tiny particles similar to toilet paper, and it is then rapidly flushed down the drain.
The pulp process
Why is Vernacare pulp better than everyone else’s?
At Vernacare, our quality cannot be beaten. To maintain quality you need experience, as the global leader in manufacturing medical pulp, with unparalleled capacity, we certainly have that. We are proud to say that we are innovators in bringing new products to the market, working collaboratively with clinicians and patients to design solutions that revolutionise the patient experience not just in the UK, but across the world. We worked diligently with clinicians to create an ergonomic and functional female urinal: the VernaFem. It was recently the feature of a study at the University Hospital Southampton NHSFT (International Journal of Palliative Nursing 2016, 2016 Nov 2;22(11): 524-533)who were caring for terminally ill female patients, trying to help them maintain their dignity whilst in palliative care. Just last month, we won an award for ‘Patient Experience’ for our creation of the VernaFem at the NHS in the North West Excellence in Supply Awards.
Most importantly, we always have our products in stock, and we deliver where and when they are needed. In October 2017, we won ‘Overall Supplier of the Year’ at the NHS in the North West Excellence in Supply Awards, an accolade which we feel demonstrates how strongly we feel about being dependable to healthcare facilities whose focus should be on their patients, and not on the reliability of their supplier. Vernacare is a name you can trust, and we make products of the highest quality which means we can always be relied on.
Our world class quality management system ensures product consistency and conformity. At Vernacare, our products are top quality, with BS EN ISO 2001:2008 and BSI Kitemark PAS029 (which are used to guarantee the quality of disposable healthcare products). We’re also compliant with BS EN ISO 14001:2004 which is an Environmental Management Standard that demonstrates how we minimise our impact on the environment. Our disposable products are tried and tested in more than 94% of UK hospitals.
Our products do not leak as they undergo a stringent 6 stage test including automated inspection technology. One of our most popular products, the detergent-proof washbowl, won the Queen’s Award for Innovation, and can hold hot water and detergent for up to 2 hours whilst maintaining its structural integrity.
We are always looking at ways we can develop and improve the world of infection prevention, by creating innovative products with real user benefits and with over 20 Vernacare pulp products available, we cater to the breadth of the market. As we specialise in medical pulp, we focus on healthcare facilities, and designing products with the patient in mind rather than producing pulp products for use in food or mobile phone packaging.
The wealth of knowledge and experience amongst our staff means that our products are designed and created specifically with the healthcare sector in mind. Garry Partington, one of our Product Designers, has worked within the business for over 30 years, and has been pivotal in creating some of our most exciting and innovative products. Steve Birch, our Factory Manager, knows our processes and our products inside-out, and his genuine passion for ensuring we operate efficiently whilst producing top-quality products is truly unique.
Not all medical pulp is the same, and neither are all macerator machines.
If you want to learn more about the Vernacare system, you can visit our website here.