Topical article: G360 services

G360 SERVICES – Ensuring world-class infection control in
accessible bathrooms and wet rooms

Exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak, the control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) continues to be a major challenge for care homes and hospitals. This involves a combination of infection prevention strategies which need to include safe and innovative bathroom and wet room equipment.

Without the right antimicrobial baths and bathroom fixtures, harmful microbes can thrive leading to bather and carer contamination. Equally the design and quality of equipment is critical, so cleaning is effective and surface integrity is maintained. This is where our power-assisted baths and G360 bathrooms are proven to deliver an effective, holistic approach to infection control – tackling the problem of Superbugs now and in the future.

BiocoteG360 Bathrooms
full biocote coated bath

Biocote protected bath

Infection control legislation

Outbreaks of harmful bacteria have always been a continuous threat in long term care facilities. Care home acquired infection is complex with a range of contributing factors including chronic illnesses, recent hospital admission, the presence of healthcare workers, care provided by family members and the use of antibiotics. The introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and the Care Quality Commission has led to health and social care establishments implementing strategies aimed at breaking the chain of cross-contamination between sources of harmful bacteria and patients.

Nevertheless, Covid-19 now represents a new challenge for care homes with more stringent measures required. Hence this is why specialist bathrooms from Gainsborough are now regarded as even more care critical through quality design and inbuilt antimicrobial BioCote.

Woman getting into bath with carer

Gentona bath by Gainsborough

BioCote protected bathing

We are the only specialist UK bath manufacturer capable of providing a world-leading level of integrated infection control technology. BioCote is an additive which is included during the GRP manufacturing process and provides 99.9% 24/7 protection against an array of harmful microbes. These including Influenza H1N1, E.coli, Salmonella and antibiotic-resistant CRO, CRE, VRE and MRSA. As it is integrated into composite materials, BioCote cannot be wiped or worn away and hence provides continual hygiene management and protection.

With the new Covid-19 risk, the need for bathroom products that limit microbes and pathogen growth is now super-critical for care environments. This is why we, as specialist manufacturers, believe it is our duty of care to provide Gainsborough baths with antimicrobial technology. This is of particular importance in communal accessible bathrooms, with high traffic multiple users, which presents the risk of cross-contamination between bathers and carers.

All of our baths, including the flagship Gentona, include BioCote as standard. It is a pioneering, invisible solution that requires zero maintenance or extra specialist fluids – representing a cost-effective and sustainable solution. BioCote also enhances the lifetime of products through reduced odours and stains.

G360 wet room from Gainsborough

G360 wet room from Gainsborough

Efficacy against a strain of Coronavirus

Gainsborough G360 bathrooms are proving popular with care homes seeking to strengthen their hygiene management. Predicted to accelerate with the government’s funding pledge, interest in our baths and wall coverings with BioCote is growing as it is already proven to deliver effective protection against HCAIs. BioCote has also recently been proven effective against a feline strain of Coronavirus.

With further testing in progress regarding Covid-19, BioCote is regarded as critical for CQC excellence and effective infection control.

Wider infection control

In addition to antimicrobial baths, there are multiple features to consider when facilitating a safe and hygienic bathroom or wet room. These can include antimicrobial treated surfaces, easy-to-clean sanitary ware, specialist ventilation and efficient drainage. For an accessible bathroom or wet room to maximise infection control, all components need to be considered as a whole along with operational use and cleaning routines.

Flooring and walls

In terms of safe flooring, we install quality brands such as Altro for example with caped 100mm covering. This provides durable, slip resistant surfaces that allow thorough cleaning right to the edge of the room so microbes cannot harbour in crevasses. Materials that are HACCP Approved or Food-Safe PVCu Polymer provide robust surfaces that operate effectively even at 60 O C. This again reduces the risk of surface degradation and the possibility of microbe build-up.
Walls can be clad with paint, tiles or boarding however there are several factors to consider in terms of appropriate materials. Advanced wall boarding can provide better performance in certain scenarios, especially when considering infection control. Two examples include Altro Whiterock wall covering with welded seams and Gainsborough’s BioClad antimicrobial PVC Wall Cladding which contains BioCote.

Strong ventilation is key

Strong ventilation is key

Design and finish

The presence of BioCote treated products in a bathroom or accessible shower room reduces the build-up of dangerous microbes everywhere, even on products that do not include the technology. However, BioCote is only a complementary solution; it must be implemented with strict and consistent cleaning protocols. This is where simplistic design of sanitary ware, showers and other fixtures is essential – ideally with seamless or minimal joints so disinfectants can reach all areas. Factors such as concealed pipework, underfloor heating and integrated lighting will eliminate elements that could gather dirt and bacteria. The quality of workmanship during bathroom installation is also a consideration – ensuring precision joints and long-term durability.

Ventilation and drainage

Specialist ventilation and drainage are commonly overlooked in the implementation of accessible bathrooms and wet rooms for the care sector. A key part of wet room management and durability is ensuring a good air replacement strategy to reduce high levels of humidity. Without this extraction, a moist atmosphere will linger which can exacerbate the growth of microbes. Equally if baths and wet room floors do not drain quickly and effectively, standing water can add to both infection and safety risks.

Summary

Infection control is now more of a priority than ever before in the long-term care sector. By combining antimicrobial technology, quality equipment and considered design, accessible bathrooms and wet rooms can assist greatly with the battle against Superbugs.

Government funding should support care homes seeking solutions, such as our specialist baths, which are already proven to reduce the presence of harmful microbes. Add to this our all-encompassing G360 bathroom services, Gainsborough is a trusted manufacturer that will futureproof care in our new Covid-19 world.

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