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Serco begins operating at the 'hi-tech' Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Date : 02 August 2010

A team of hi-tech robots began operating today as the first phase of the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Scotland, opened its doors. The robots, operated and maintained by Serco, are an integral part of its 30-year contract to provide a range of support servces at the new hospital including portering, catering, cleaning and maintenance.

The multi-million pound facility is the largest NHS construction project ever built in Scotland and one of the most modern and well-equipped hospitals in Europe. It covers an area the size of nine football pitches, with 25 wards, 4000 rooms and 16 operating theatres.

Serco is providing facilities management services as part of a Project Team led by Forth Health Limited - a joint venture between John Laing and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, including Laing O'Rourke as the design and construction partner. In their business case for the new facility, the NHS Board set out a necessity to segregate patient and facilities management activity. After listening carefully to the NHS Board's requirements and after extensive research, the Team bought 'robotic' technology to the UK Health Market.

Trials of the robotic vehicles have taken place in the weeks leading up to the opening, resulting in several hundred hours of successful testing to date. The commissioning of the robots will continue throughout the first month of operations to ensure the system is able to meet its full operational efficiency.

The self-guided vehicles operate in their own corridors around the hospital, separated from patients and staff and will help to keep patient areas free of trolleys and other clutter, reduce infection risks and free up Serco's support staff to focus on priorities for patients. Lifts, to be used exclusively by the robots, were included in the hospital's design and incorporate a double door entry/exit. The robots will be used to move the hospital's waste, linen, patient food and clinical supplies.

Other robotic systems in the hospital will support the pharmacy and cutting-edge cleaning machinery will help with the fight against hospital infection.

Mike MacKay, Serco's Contract Director at Forth Valley said, "We are delighted to be supporting this excellent NHS Board in rolling out this cutting-edge technology. Other ground breaking innovations will include the most advanced wifi network in any healthcare project in Europe, a real time helpdesk enabling portering, cleaning and maintenance requests to be sent efficiently to the Serco operatives wirelessly, and, later this year, an automated mail machine which sorts mail using wireless 'itbots' at a rate of 3000 items per hour!"

Ends

For further information, please contact Serco:
Mary Leonard - mary.leonard@serco.com
Tel: + 44 (0)7732 646024

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Last Updated: 10 October 2014