Health Service Focus

04.09.17

Maximising vaccine storage safety

Ian Harbinson, marketing manager at Lec Medical, discusses the importance of safe vaccine storage and the developments within medical refrigeration designed for the NHS.

There are daily headlines surrounding the NHS, its funding and, of course, the overall health of the nation. As these subjects dominate the news, there has never been so much emphasis on healthcare meeting targets both in terms of care and budget, keeping unnecessary wastage at an absolute minimum whilst also improving the facilities within the NHS itself.

For example, vaccines are extremely high value, costing the NHS approximately £200m per year. They are costly in their development, production, transportation, storage and administration, with each vaccine essential to protecting the health of both children and adults alike. It is therefore vital that vaccines are prevented from being accidentally spoiled, damaged or even lost at every possible opportunity. In fact, estimations suggest that even if each establishment lost just one dose of Pediacel vaccines every month, it would cost the NHS an addition £4m a year. It’s easy for this to happen: inappropriate storage facilities, poor cold chain distribution or a simple lack of checking and monitoring the temperature of the refrigeration system can all lead to extremely costly losses of valuable vaccines and medicines alike.

At Lec Medical we have been developing refrigeration and temperature monitoring systems to provide refrigeration storage solutions for over 70 years in order to make life easier for both operator and establishment, helping to keep vaccines safe 24/7, 365 days a year. Accurate temperature measurement and safety has been the driving force behind our latest vaccine refrigeration portfolio, our ‘Control’ range, whereby each unit within the range is fitted with two separate in-built temperature monitoring probes for the ultimate accuracy and peace of mind.

One probe monitors the air temperature of the fridge so this can give an early indicator as to whether the fridge is at the correct temperature before any spoilage or damage to the vaccines can occur. The secondary probe has been the key focus for us at Lec Medical with the new ‘Control’ range, as this replicates the actual vaccine vials’ temperature. This means that even if the air temperature inside the fridge deviates from standard temperatures, staff will be able to check the vaccine probe and see if that deviation has caused a problem with the vaccines themselves or if in fact, now the problem has been caught quickly and resolved, there will be no unnecessary wastage.

74 Fridge and Mag 2 high

For staff, this additional peace of mind is a real benefit as it helps to prevent the occurrence of vaccine wastage due to uncertainty. Particularly during peak seasons, where there will be an influx of certain vaccines requiring high volumes of storage, such as flu or travel seasons, the market-leading temperature measurement system within our ‘Control’ refrigeration units also make it easy for designated members of staff to record the two temperatures daily, and provides them with the data required for hospital records and audits.

At Lec Medical we have focused a great deal on easing the workload of the staff in the NHS when storing such valuable contents such as vaccines, as well as providing equipment with safety measures in place for added reassurance. Of course, numerous safety precautions must be followed when staff are dealing with vaccines such as monthly stock audits. These audit records of stock and temperature management need to be shared with the local screening and immunisation teams.  Additional little things such as making sure that there is no build-up of ice or whether the fridge is overstocked are all safety measures that should be undertaken daily, in addition to the larger-scale temperature monitoring, recording and carrying out of regular health checks on all medical refrigeration units.

There are a number of information sources where NHS facilities can find the exact guidelines on the correct storage equipment to use (as well as on the entire cold chain process), such as Public Health England and the CQC websites. It is imperative that healthcare professionals are fully aware of the correct procedures and processes set out by these official bodies for maximum storage safety.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Councillors fear identity crisis following CCG merger

22/06/2018Councillors fear identity crisis following CCG merger

Members of one of Kent’s leading councils have voiced their concerns against an upcoming merger between CCGs in the area. Cllr Wendy P... more >
Top NHS England boss to leave the organisation

22/06/2018Top NHS England boss to leave the organisation

NHS England’s chief financial officer will leave the post after 11 years. Paul Baumann CBE, who joined NHS London in 2007, and took up... more >
Most urgent primary care services ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’

22/06/2018Most urgent primary care services ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’

Over eight in 10 primary care services are providing good care, despite mounting work force and commissioning pressures, the CQC has said. A... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

The impact of NICE on cardiovascular disease prevention

06/06/2018The impact of NICE on cardiovascular disease prevention

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director Health and Social Care at NICE, looks into what can be done to decrease cardiovascular disease nationally and how to prevent missed opportunities in the future. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for just over a quarter of deaths and affects around 7 million people in the UK. Risk factors for CVD include smoking, obesity, mental illness, physical inactivity, and long-term fa... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Getting more out of our medicines

20/06/2018Getting more out of our medicines

Paul Chrisp, programme director of medicines and technologies at NICE, describes how the organisation is re-purposing drugs in order to improve p... more >
Under attack

20/06/2018Under attack

One attack against an NHS worker is one too many. But unfortunately, the trend in recent years has been alarmingly upwards, with no part of the N... more >
Lessons from WannaCry

20/06/2018Lessons from WannaCry

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, warns that the UK Government must take seriously the threat of a more soph... more >
A hostile environment

20/06/2018A hostile environment

Dr Terry John, chair of the BMA’s international committee, gives his thoughts on the government’s visa and immigration policy and its... more >
The Memorandum of Understanding: Privacy at risk

20/06/2018The Memorandum of Understanding: Privacy at risk

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Home Office and NHS Digital meant that patient data and confidentiality was being put at risk a... more >

interviews

Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >
Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

25/09/2017Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, knows that the health service is already a world leader when it comes to medical advances – ... more >