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Acoustics at Healthcare conference

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Approximately 60 people attended the Ecophon Healthcare Conference on 9th September 2009 at The King’s Fund HO in London. Host for the day, Anthony Thomas, concept developer at Ecophon UK, brought together an appealing range of topics specifically aiming to support good design of our Healthcare premises.

Prominent speakers were a.o.
– Richard Mazuch of Nightingale & Associes
– Prof. Brian Duerden of the Department of Health
– Adrian Popplewell of Ramboll Acoustics

Please read further for the summary and the presentations

SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS
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Prof Brian Duerden, CBE; Dept of Health Inspector of Microbiology and Infection Control –
1) Design in the Prevention of Healthcare Associated Infection
Prof Duerden explained the historic and current extent of HCAI, and highlighted the mind-set and practices required to improve the control of infection. Referring to various initiatives, he showed the success achieved and ongoing objectives vital in reducing cases of MRSA and C difficile, and highlighted the need for continuing efforts in terms of patient screening and good design practice. This includes using cleanable surfaces that are resistant to disinfectants, good air control and decontamination, and urged the design practice he called Design Bugs Out. He showed examples of new products using good design and new technologies, which are in use in 8 Showcase NHS hospitals in the UK.
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Richard Budd; Senior Consultant & Team Leader at Sound Research Laboratories
2) HTM08-01, the new Acoustic Design Guide
Richard talked about why good acoustics are so important in Healthcare premises, and explained how the new Acoustics HTM improved on its predecessor HTM 2045. He focused on the main acoustic issues, such as Impact Sound Insulation, Room Acoustics, Audio Announcement Systems, Vibration and Construction Noise. He also explained how to assess and achieve requirements in terms of Internal Sound Insulation, External Noise Break-in, noise from M&E;, and Noise Break-out and the Environment.
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Adrian Popplewell; Associate at Rambøll Acoustics UK
3) HTM08-01, Problems and Prophetic Ponderings
Adrian re-iterated the reasons why Acoustics is important in Healthcare, and gave examples of just how much noise is often generated in and around hospitals. He gave a particular dramatic example, playing a video clip with sound of a rescue helicopter arriving and landing at a hospital. He also gave examples of other noise sources, and re-inforced the requirement to control noise such as External Noise Intrusion and Room Reverberation. Adrian also stressed the importance of good room acoustics for long-term patients, such as Residential Areas within Mental Health Units.
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Richard Mazuch; Architect and Director of Design, Research and Innovation at Nightingale Associates
4) Sense Sensitive Design in Healthcare
Richard gave us an insight into how our many senses (Sight, Hearing, Touch, Smell and Taste) are linked to our feeling of wellbeing and in particular how quickly and how well we heal. He explained how so many aspects of these senses contribute to how we feel, and therefore how designing with these sensory implications in mind can improve patient outcomes. Of particular note were how a good sound environment, natural light, views of nature, good air quality and the use of appropriate colours can be of benefit to the whole healing process.
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Mungo Smith; Director at MAAP Architects
5) The Hillingdon Hospital Single Room Pilot Ward
Mungo presented the background to, and the issues addressed during, the creation of a prototype ward, the aims of the project being to evaluate it against present NHS wards with respect to effects on various outcomes. These include patient satisfaction with information/communication, bed occupancy and length of stay, patient transfers, patient privacy and sleep quality. Other outcomes evaluated include accommodation of family/visitors, reduction in HCAI, patient safety and nutrition, staff workload and travelling distances and hospital revenue costs.
6) Sustainable Healthcare Communities and their Buildings
Michael Clarke; Health Manager at Willmott Dixon
Michael led the project to create the Willmott Dixon Community Healthcare Campus out of the Re-Thinking School at the Building Research Establishment just outside Watford. This building showed how healthcare facilities could be provided in the future to provide care which meets the needs of the next decade and using cutting edge sustainable products and solutions. Michael explained the background to the project and showed the many technologies involved and the products involved, which included acoustic ceilings from Saint-Gobain Ecophon.

Healthcare Environments 150

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