The education centre at the Cumberland Infirmary has gone the extra mile to ensure the safety of staff and students with the help of a specialist upholstery firm.
Chairs and seats at the James George Education Centre at the hospital in Carlisle have been reupholstered in an easy-to-clean, antimicrobial surface to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The work was done by Ghyll House Upholstery and Design based at Mealsgate, near Cockermouth in Cumbria. It is the latest in a series of projects in the medical sector for the Ghyll House team, which has completed similar work for several GP surgeries in Cumbria and Yorkshire.
Classroom chairs along with seating in the reception area and staff rest space were reupholstered with an antimicrobial vinyl in anthracite grey, replacing the original fabric covering.
Stephen Graham, Library and Learning Facilities Manager at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said it was essential that the facilities at the education centre met the highest possible standards.
He said: “The education of the Trust’s staff is vitally important and must continue whatever circumstances we are currently experiencing.
“Training is mandatory and ensures staff can deliver in their roles based on the best possible evidence and good practice.
“The existing fabric covered chairs were simply not fit for purpose in the current climate. I had been investigating the possibility of buying new chairs when I discovered that Ghyll House could reupholster our existing chairs in an easy-to-sanitise material. It proved to be cheaper than buying new chairs and also meant we could support a local firm.”
Ghyll House reupholstered more than 50 items for the centre including 46 classroom chairs and six seats from the reception and staff rest area. The work was carried out at the firm’s workshop in Mealsgate, with minimal visits to the education centre and in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.
Stephen said: “Ghyll House did a great job. They were organised, efficient and delivered exactly what we needed. I would definitely recommend them.”
Joe McAlpine, general manager at Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, said the company was working with clients across the medical sector to provide cost-effective solutions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
He said: “Antimicrobial fabrics and vinyls provide a fast-acting, effective and durable surface which can be easily sanitised to ensure the highest possible hygiene standards.
“We were pleased to be able to help the team at the James George Education Centre and provide a suitable alternative to their existing fabric covered chairs.”
The James George Education Centre provides training and education to staff at the Cumberland Infirmary. The classrooms and seminar rooms are used for teaching health education across a range of sectors from resuscitation to health and safety, along with clinical training for junior doctors and nursing staff. The centre also has a lecture theatre and library.
In 2017, it was renamed the James George Education Centre after Dr James (Jim) George, a former elderly care consultant at the Trust and clinical director for research and development, who advocated the importance of education and research.
The Trust also runs and manages an education centre at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.