West Suffolk’s bed shower is a first in UK hospitals

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If a bedridden patient cannot go to the shower, a West Suffolk Hospital ward can now bring the shower to the patient.

The £5,000 mobile shower unit allows staff to place a waterproof sheet under the patient who can then wash using a pressure-controlled shower hose and water heated to suit them, while a vacuum transfers waste water into a tank for disposal.

The unit, thought to be the first in use in an acute hospital in the UK, is being used on ward F12, which cares for patients who need isolation and often have long term conditions which need extra hygiene.

The shower was paid for with a combination of charity money and ward funds.

Gary Ingalla, medical division service manager, said: “We are delighted with this new mobile shower system, which is making sure patients who are not mobile can still benefit from the best possible hygiene.

“Although preparing patients to use the mobile shower takes a little longer than a traditional bed bath, the advantages it brings in terms of comfort and cleanliness makes that extra time really worthwhile.

“We are really pleased that West Suffolk Hospital is leading the way with this new technology.”