Case Study

Southampton General Hospital

Posted: Client: Southampton General Hospital Country: United Kingdom


A Vernacare competitor had been replacing our Vortex+ macerators at Southampton General Hospital. The replacement programme was instigated by procurement, and we were disappointed to lose a long standing contract based on competitive pricing, which didn’t take into account the infection control implications, opinions of nurses, or the consequences on maintenance staff. Since the switch there have been many issues with the competitor machines and the hospital is now reverting back to Vernacare.

On one occasion, the Mechanical Supervisor at Southampton General Hospital called upon a Vernacare Engineer for assistance, having worked with him previously to help resolve an ongoing problem. On the 3rd September 2019 a competitor machine was installed, and by 1st June 2021 this had to be replaced with a Vernacare Vortex+, just less than 2 years old, and the competitor machine had over 24 call-outs in that time, costing valuable time, money and staffing resources. The excellent working relationship that the Vernacare engineer had previously built up allowed the easy swapping out of the other machine with a Vernacare Vortex+ macerator.


When the Vernacare engineer gathered all the information and discussed the range of Vernacare macerators with the Mechanical Supervisor at Southampton General Hospital, they decided to return to Vernacare as the machines worked. Vernacare macerators had regular services, and the hospital had peace of mind that they would not need repairs constantly. Engineers on the ground are vital for getting intelligence on the competition and installing Vernacare machines. Engineers build up relationships that salespeople cannot due to the perceived lack of selling from an engineer. During the COVID-19 pandemic, engineers have still been on-site in hospitals as they are essential to keep macerators working, reducing infections, and maintaining healthcare facilities. Engineers are your eyes and ears on the ground, even in competitor hospital sites.


Some of the common issues raised by Nurses, Healthcare Professionals, Engineers, Estates and Facilities were:

  • The competitor charged Southampton for the majority of the call outs, even when it was a warranty failure
  • The machine does not work
  • Even when there is no product in the machine, it makes a lot of noise, the blade rattles. When empty it’s 50% louder than Vernacare’s, even when ours has 4 products in
  • The machine will only work with one item of pulp, and it is very noisy and constantly leaks
  • Hospital engineers do not like working on the machine as they know it will break the next day again
  • Have to call estates and maintenance at least once a month to fix the machine

What the client had to say

According to Joe Logo, Mechanical Supervisor - "The engineers hate working on the competitor machines. Their single phasemotor can’t cut through more than two items, even three items and it jams and trips out. The engineer’s hands get covered in deodoriser whenever they put their hands under the machine, and there is a hose that won’t stay on".