It’s easy access means loading patients’ cabinets with medicines, a daily task for me, now takes 15 minutes rather than two hours.

Sagal Hashi, University College London Hospital

The Design Challenge

As part of the Design Bugs Out Design Challenge manufacturers Bristol Maid and designers Kinneir Dufort teamed up to create a radically new bedside cabinet with wipe-clean polymers instead of wood and metal, so it’s easier to clean and helps stop bacteria spreading.

The problem

Infections such as MRSA kill around 5,000 people a year and cost the NHS £1bn, says the National Audit Office. Hospital furniture doesn’t help — germs hide in hard-to-reach corners, keyholes and moving parts. The bedside cabinet was identified by experts, through the Design Bugs Out challenge, as one of 11 products most in need of redesign.

The solution

Clean lines and ample storage make it attractive to patients, electronic locks mean that there are no keys to lose and no keyholes to trap dirt. Not only did it mean that desired cleanliness levels were hard to reach, but significant staff time was spent cleaning when they would otherwise be helping patients.

So far Bristol Maid has sold 3,000 cabinets in the UK and more overseas since it launched in 2011. The bedside cabinet is part of a new Easy Clean range that’s so far racked up over £2m turnover. The company sees potential in Europe, and aims to open up markets outside the UK by building on partnerships with NHS teams that were formed during the Design Challenge.

News & opinion

Design skills are not just for designers – Spark proves this This year, our product innovation programme Design Council Spark has seen an increase in successful applications from groups under-represented in the design industry and people without formal design education. This year, Spark has seen people with an unusually varied set of skills and backgrounds reach the final stages.

Feature — 16/05/2018

Design Council Spark awardees are rocking all over the world Rockit, the aptly named rocket-shaped portable baby rocker, was an awardee in our 2016 Design Council Spark accelerator programme. Rockit, the aptly named rocket-shaped portable baby rocker, was an awardee in our 2016 Design Council Spark accelerator programme.

News — 13/04/2018

Meet the Spark finalists 2018 Find out about the products that will be refined and transformed over the next 16 weeks. Find out about the products that will be refined and transformed over the next 16 weeks.

Feature — 12/03/2018

How Design Council Spark kick-started a difficult design project We spoke to Nick Rawcliffe, a mechanical engineer who joined the Spark programme with his innovative folding cycle helmet. We spoke to Nick Rawcliffe, a mechanical engineer who joined the Spark programme with his innovative folding cycle helmet.

Feature — 01/02/2018

Dyslexia and design Is Dyslexia a weakness or a strength? Designers Ab Rogers and Jim Rokos discuss how they feel dyslexia enables them to think differently. Is Dyslexia a weakness or a strength? Designers Ab Rogers and Jim Rokos discuss how they feel dyslexia enables them to think differently.

Feature — 09/01/2018

Resources