Staff at the University of Bath and the city’s Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) have come together once again, drawing on the University’s engineering knowhow to deliver vital new equipment to support patient care.

Engineering experts from the University this week delivered a set of specialist enclosures, custom designed to safely store vital resuscitation equipment on paediatric trolleys, to make sure the crucial kit is close to hand for hospital staff.

Designed by staff within the University’s Centre for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI, which researches how to create new approaches to medical procedures, diagnostics, and medicine design) and then made by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the boxes were developed after staff in the RUH’s resuscitation team shared their need to store resuscitation equipment more efficiently.

Dawn Fairclough, Resuscitation and Simulation Services Manager, explains: “Due to Covid we have adapted the resuscitation equipment that is available at the RUH to ensure the best patient care is given whilst protecting our staff. Part of this is to make available, in all areas that see children, vital additional resuscitation equipment.

“Storing this additional equipment is difficult as there is very limited space in the resuscitation trolleys, and we have not been able to find a container that could go on the trolley that is fit for purpose and infection control friendly. We had looked at boot bags, lunch bags and boxes and at bespoke items but none we could find met our requirements or were going to be prohibitively expensive.”

During their search for a suitable container, the team approached Prof Richie Gill, co-deputy director of CTI, who was involved in last year’s efforts to deliver PPE to healthcare staff, which eventually saw over 400,000 pieces of crucial safety equipment being created and donated around Bath and the region.

Prof Richie Gill, co-Deputy Director of the CTI, took up the brief for a simple, secure enclosure that complied with infection control requirements and fit the trolleys unobtrusively. Richie then passed his enclosure design to the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s rapid prototyping team of technicians, led by Gary Barter, who made a set of 20, and donated them to the hospital.

Dawn adds: “The work Richie and the team have done to design the perfect solution to store this vital children’s resuscitation equipment safely has been amazing. It was then even more impressive that the University was able to make the boxes for us and donate them to the RUH.

“We are really very grateful and are now working to get them installed on all the resuscitation trolleys that need them as soon as possible.”

Prof Richie Gill added: “We are always more than happy to help our colleagues in local healthcare services, and especially at the RUH given our strong existing relationship, and I’m pleased we have been able to deliver exactly what the Resuscitation team needed.”