Guardtech pledge to support NHS aseptic pharmacy units in 2024 after spike in enquiries
January 17, 2024
THE GUARDTECH GROUP are gearing up for the busiest year in the company’s history by pledging to support the nation’s most critical and beloved institution.
The cleanroom construction specialists are already working on four major installations in the early stages of the new year – phase two of a 1650sqm ISO8 project in the South of England, an 850sqm ISO5 & 7 build in Cheshire, a 1500sqm CNC manufacturing facility in Suffolk and a 300sqm ISO5, 6 & 7 development in Jena, Germany.
But the Group have been inundated with enquiries from NHS Trusts, Foundation Trusts, and University Hospitals in the past three months, with needs ranging from the construction of entirely new aseptic pharmacy unit suites to more modest refurb programmes for existing premises.
The requests have gone beyond construction, too, with NHS bodies seeking Guardtech’s Decontamination Team deep clean packages, cleanroom-grade furniture and equipment and smaller Isopod Rapid Cleanrooms to provide positive pressure isolation within hospitals.
Business Growth & Development Lead Jack Pummell, who deals with a large number of the Group’s initial enquiries, has been blown away by the surge in interest for Guardtech’s services from the NHS.
“The past few months have been a whirlwind,” he says. “We’ve had a significant number of NHS enquiries from a range of different care providers – but the bulk of them have centred around NHS hospital pharmacy aseptic services.
“The kind of work these aseptic suites are carrying out really is inspiring – manufacturing treatments for chemotherapy, antibodies, general intravenous preparations, parenteral nutrition and Cell & Gene Therapy.
“We’ve got a long history in providing cGMP cleanrooms that have achieved Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) status – including some for aseptic container filling, so it makes sense that NHS Trusts who provide things like pain relief drugs, and require isolators and other such equipment, would come to us. But the scale of enquiries we’ve had in recent months has been astonishing.”
Part of the surge in enquiries can be attributed to a national report in 2020 for the Department of Health and Social Care by Lord Carter of Coles, which intends to ‘transform NHS pharmacy aseptic services in England by 2026-27’.
The review includes plans to scale up the production of injectable medicines from the current 3.4 million individual doses prepared in English hospitals annually to more than 40 million.
Guardtech Commercial Director Mark Wheeler is urging more NHS Trusts with older and tired facilities in need a of facelift to get in touch.
“We’ve been providing support to the NHS in various forms for many years now,” he says. “We know there are a lot of amazing people out there doing great work in facilities that simply aren’t adequate any more. If this sounds like you, please do get in touch, as I’m certain we will have the cleanroom or lab solution to meet your needs.”
One of those solutions is CleanCube Mobile Cleanrooms – and one of the Group’s cGMP portable container labs is already providing support for an NHS University Hospital’s Cell & Gene Therapy work.
Wheeler is excited to see what the year ahead holds for CleanCube – a versatile and flexible offering that gives NHS Trusts an ideal alternative to constructing a new facility.
The solution has already garnered interest from Trusts that are considering ‘split contracts’ – where they take on a CleanCube Mobile Cleanroom to temporarily move into whilst Guardtech build them a new fully fledged aseptic suite within their hospital.
“When it comes to older premises, we’re more than happy to provide several options for NHS Trusts looking to give their existing home some TLC,” he adds. “But sometimes, due to finances, time constraints or limitations on buildings, that simply isn’t a viable option.
“Our base model CleanCube containers – Mini (20ft), Midi (40ft) and Maxi (40ft double) – can solve those problems immediately. You can have a plug-and-play lab in your NHS hospital car park within weeks. The split contract concept is certainly attracting a lot of attention – as it offers the best of both worlds in terms of continuing working practices temporarily whilst awaiting a brand-new facility.
“But there’s also the option for a CleanCube Multi – where we can place as many containers as you require side by side to create a large-scale portable facility.
“Therefore, if you’re working in an old aseptic suite that badly needs refurbishment but for whatever reason that can’t go ahead, we can supply a brand-new world-class lab – say, a CleanCube Multi 7 with a 210sqm footprint – within months. All this without the hassle of lengthy onsite construction, but still meeting all the standards of our regular modular cleanrooms.
“CleanCube is going to be a winning solution for NHS care providers – and we look forward to sharing why with more new clients over the next 12 months.”
For more information on CleanCube visit www.cleancube.co.uk, or to find out more about the Guardtech Group, visit www.guardtech.com, call 0330 113 0303 or email email@example.com.