Exterminate! Doctor Who-villain lookalike robot taking on superbugs could save NHS 200 million per year

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 15 December 2012


Deep clean: The Tru-D device uses UV lights

Deep clean: The Tru-D device uses UV lights

It may look like a gadget from Doctor Who, but this robot is a new, efficient method of tackling hospital superbugs that could save the NHS more than 200 million a year if adopted nationwide.

The remote-controlled Tru-D device uses concentrated levels of UV light to kill 99.9 per cent of pathogens in a room within 50 minutes, and costs just 5 per use.

Currently, vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VHP) is used to sterilise wards, with a deep-clean taking six hours followed by a wait of up to 24 hours before the room can be used again.

The method poses significant health risks if not carried out carefully and costs 45 per treatment.

Hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA and C.diff cost the NHS about 1 billion a year.

The
Tru-D, which is already used in more than 100 hospitals in the US, has
recently been tested by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which
is hoping to adopt the method permanently.

Bacteria spreading: The new device kills hospital superbugs faster than before and could save the NHS 200 million

Bacteria spreading: The new device kills hospital superbugs faster than before and could save the NHS 200 million

‘Judging by the results that I have
witnessed, it is clear that new and more sustainable alternatives such
as Tru-D represent the future of hygiene in hospitals,’ says Dr Tim
Boswell, consultant microbiologist at Nottingham University Hospitals
NHS Trust.

Since the Tru-D was presented at the annual conference of the Federation of Infection Societies in Liverpool last month, six other NHS hospitals have begun trialling the device.

A report published in October by the Patients’ Association in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing and the Infection Prevention Society called for a renewed focus on infection prevention and control across the NHS.