Case Study

Royal Bolton Hospital Selects Vernacare Infection Prevention Technology

Posted: Client: Bolton NHS Foundation Trust Country: United Kingdom

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is an integrated care organisation, providing care in the community at over 20 health centres and clinics as well as services such as district and school nursing. The Trust also provides services at the Royal Bolton Hospital. The Care Quality Commission has rated Bolton NHS Foundation Trust as “good” - one of only about 25% of trusts in the country to achieve this standard.


Vernacare’s range of single-use bedpans, urinals and bowls were already used across Royal Bolton Hospital. However their existing disposal units were ageing and the Trust wanted to upgrade and enhance the way they handle and dispose of human waste.

Clinicians from Royal Bolton were also involved in the early development phases of a new bedpan system from Vernacare, which was designed with two key objectives in mind - patient safety and patient comfort. This included the use of a fully disposable bedpan and support, which is used by the patient once then flushed away in the Vortex unit, reducing the risk of cross-infection.


The Trust subsequently replaced their ageing disposal units with Vortex machines. Independent tests have shown that the Vortex discharges waste water 4 times more rapidly than alternative machines, with substantially lower and less variable solids content, which ensures free flowing drains. The Vortex’s handsfree lid opening mechanism reduces the risk of cross infection during the process of handling patient waste.

The Trust also introduced Vernacare’s new fully disposable bedpan system removing the need for a re-usable plastic bedpan support. This also saves money in cases where nurses stack existing bedpans for extra strength, to replace the traditional rigid support. Vernacare has re-engineered the traditional bedpan design - that has stood still for decades - to combine increased user comfort with functional performance.


John Ashworth, Maintenance Estates Officer for Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Vortex machines are very reliable and we’ve had fewer call-outs to deal with breakdowns. The machines are in constant use so regular machine care is important. Vernacare has trained our team on the basics of maintenance and also provided a fault-finding manual, which is very useful. This means we can sort out most issues ourselves.

“When required we receive very fast service from Vernacare’s engineering team. The machines look smart and they’re extremely easy to use. Once the lid closes, the cycle starts automatically so it couldn’t get much easier.”

Commenting on Vernacare’s fully disposable bedpan and support Julie Dziobon, Matron for Infection Control, said: “Because the system is fully disposable it’s better from an infection control perspective. This also saves nurses’ time in cleaning and drying the plastic support and relieves the problem of storage. Sluice space is tight, so it’s good to have a bedpan that can be stacked neatly - without taking up too much room. We trust Vernacare’s medical products to never leak and to do the job it’s designed for. The quality is outstanding and helps us to achieve excellent standards of hygiene.”