The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre – a new build cancer support and information centre based at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust – installed antimicrobial copper touch surfaces throughout to boost patient safety by providing a more hygienic environment for users of the facility.
Designed by IBI Group and constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine, the centre offers patients the highest quality treatment teamed with an integrated supportive care and complementary therapy scheme with the goal of providing a truly holistic and therapeutic service.
Given the key importance of cleanliness within any healthcare environment – to reduce the risk of infections spreading between patients, staff and visitors – IBI Group singled out some of the most frequently-touched surfaces in the new centre for special consideration. Door furniture is touched often, and by many different people, and was thus the first surface targeted. The material needed to offer improved hygiene whilst blending seamlessly with the aesthetic of the centre.
Allgood answered this challenge with their Contego range of antimicrobial copper lever handles, push plates, pull handles, WC turns and escutcheons. Made from a copper alloy benefiting from the metal's inherent ability to rapidly kill bacteria and viruses on contact, Contego items have the aesthetic of stainless steel, meaning they also complement the surrounding, non-touch items such as signage, door closers and kick plates.
Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.
Copper and certain copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is essential that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.