Keeping Track of Healthcare Compliance
NHS Blood and Transplant is using an online software tool to help ensure its maintenance and service programmes conform with a range of legislative requirements.
Launched in 1990 by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), SFG20 is recognised as the industry standard for building maintenance specifications and utilises a web-based interface which has been designed for facilities managers and building maintenance teams.
Moving NHS Blood and Transplant’s existing schedules to SFG20 was a significant project, requiring bespoke consultancy because of the size of the organisation’s estate which extends to around 90 buildings, and the highly specialised equipment it uses.
Ian Giles, a SFG20 Technical Consultant who worked with NHS Blood and Transport to create a bespoke solution, explains: “We undertook a line-by-line review of all the tasks carried out by NHS Blood and Transport.
“The range of equipment across the estate was considerable, we even took photographs of the equipment to map assets correctly and to establish a common vocabulary for similar assets across the estate.”
Mark Walsh, National Estates and Facilities Technical Manager at NHS Blood and Transplant, says: “I was very impressed with SFG20. Adopting the system has been the right thing to do as it helps to ensure that our maintenance procedures and tasks are always up-to-date with legal compliance across our whole estate.”
“The range of building types covers clinics, offices and laboratories. We also have cold rooms where collected blood is stored. And our estate also includes cryo-storage facilities that use liquid nitrogen to achieve temperatures as low as -196 degrees centigrade.
The nature of its work means his organisation is licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the enforcement body for the UK’s pharmaceutical industry which is tasked with ensuring that blood and other products for transfusions meet high standards for safety, quality and efficacy.
Walsh adds: “Although moving to SFG20 from our in-house maintenance schedules took time and a financial investment, it was the right thing to do. We know now that we adhere not only to MHRA requirements, but we can also be certain that we are always meeting all of our legal maintenance requirements on all of our equipment and sites.”
NHS Blood and Transplant manages blood donation services in England, which includes collection, testing, processing and packaging of blood and plasma products.
SFG20 is being adopted more widely by a range of healthcare estates as it offers maintenance schedules that have been developoed specifically for hospitals, NHS Trusts, dentists, vets and doctors’ surgeries.
Over a hundred such SFG20 specialist healthcare schedules have been built, taking into account the requirements of Health Technical Memoranda (HTM) that provide comprehensive advice and guidance on the design, installation and operation of specialised building and engineering technology used in the delivery of healthcare services.