If you work in a hospital you’ll know just how busy winter time can get.
From flu and stomach bugs to broken bones and over indulgence, the cold spell sees medical teams stretched to the limit. If you’re responsible for a ward or department, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether you have the right furniture and equipment to meet the needs of your patients.
Here are five things to consider when buying furniture:
1. Speak to the expert:
Having more pressing things to worry about than buying hospital furniture often means medical staff stick to buying the same pieces of furniture – because it’s quicker and easier. But, it’s not always best.
Hospital furniture companies have decades of experience in providing furniture to a wide variety of wards and departments. They can talk to you about your needs and advise you on the best furniture or equipment for your area.
We recently helped an NHS Trust buy 250 red, emergency trolleys, despite them originally phoning and asking for blue trolleys. They’d assumed that they could only buy hospital trolleys in blue because that’s what they’d always bought. A quick chat to our team helped them determine exactly the right piece of equipment they needed.
2. Long term vs low cost:
It’s no secret that hospital budgets are tight – regardless of whether you work for an NHS Trust or a private hospital group. Purchasing decisions often come down to price. Before you pick the cheapest short-term option, consider the quality of the furniture. Think about how long it will last in the tough hospital environment, what will the impact be if it needs repaired or replaced?
Sometimes paying slightly more will save you money in the long run.
Take our Tucson recliner chair for example, when compared to similar recliner chairs it’s not only easier to use but people also tell us it’s more robust.
3. Express service:
One thing is certain with the peak winter season, you should always expect the unexpected. There’s often no time to plan furniture needs ahead. You need to respond immediately so waiting up to 12 weeks for a delivery isn’t an option.
Reputable hospital furniture companies are increasingly offering an express service. Beaver Healthcare Furniture was the first hospital furniture company in the UK to offer an express five day service. We’ve recently expanded our range so you can get even more of our popular products fast.
4. Space saving:
Many hospitals are already bursting at the seams. So more patients needing more equipment means space is at a premium.
Luckily, hospital furniture companies are on the case and offer a range of space-saving options such as nesting i/v poles that can be grouped together when not in use, slim-line hospital trolleys and fold-out visitor beds.
Product development teams are hard at work behind the scenes looking at smart options that help maximise hospital space.
5. Happy patient, happy staff:
Hospital teams ultimately want their patients to be happy and get healthy again. Whether you’re waiting or being treated in a crowded hospital then making the environment as pleasant and calming as possible is key.
Colour schemes can make all the difference to a hospital’s ambience and many Trusts and private groups are breaking free from the standard blue and purple pallets. There is a growing trend towards warmer berry tones but furniture can come in virtually any colour you can think of!
It’s not just about colour though, furniture that is easy to manouver and use is also crucial. Ask for a demonstration of recliners chairs you’re thinking of purchasing to see how easily they can be positioned. Consider whether side access is also important.
Likewise with hospital trolleys, overbed tables or other patient seating, being able to move them easily is important for staff and patients alike. Nothing is more frustrating than a squeaky trolley or cumbersome table.
So, as you gear up for winter, think about what you need from your furniture, consider trying alternative providers and be reassured that if you need it quickly you now have much greater choice.