I currently work for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust as a Materials Management Officer. It is the job of myself and the other team members to ensure that all the supplies required to keep the hospitals in our trust, (Watford General, St. Albans City and Hemel Hempstead Hospitals) running smoothly are ordered, delivered and stored. The two oldest ward buildings at Watford General Hospital are the Women’s Services building (opened in 1968) and the main Princess Michael of Kent building (opened in 1986). When these buildings were opened the Supplies Teams of the day were run on a completely different operating schedule and the store rooms were adequate, for the time and amount of patients coming through the doors. As the years have passed, the hospital has nearly quadrupled its turn over of patients and, with new wards and departments opening all the time, space has become a premium. Most of the store rooms are on the small side and decked out with shelving on which the stock is placed. This is no longer suitable for the amount of stock required to keep many of the wards running. With NHS Trusts money is always tight, with finances being reserved for more ‘important’ things like, CT Scanners, Blood Pressure Monitors, Beds, Wheel Chairs and the like. So trying to get the money to improve store rooms is seen as a low priority, which is why we have to convince the Budget Holder, of the ward that we want to improve, that a new store room design would save them money (which it does in the matter of a few months).
Running to a schedule is important and when upgrading a store room timing is everything. Because the hospital never shuts and the stock is always required we have to be as quick as we possibly can. At West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust we use the Medstor Mailbox Materials Management Shelving System, which entails a representative from Medstor, in this case Jeremy Masson, arriving a few weeks earlier to measure the chosen store room. With his measurements taken a quote is offered a few days later, which is passed on to the budget holder. With the okay given, Medstor begin the manufacturing of the Mailbox Shelving System. We then liaise with the various parties to secure a suitable date for the installation. On the agreed upon date the store room is cleared and the Mailbox Shelving System is delivered, first thing in the morning. Once unloaded the cabinets are moved to the ward and installed by trained Medstor installers, who can complete three average sized store rooms per day.
Below you can see the cabinets being delivered to the Watford General Hospital Site.