It’s Your Duty: Water Compliance Imperatives for Healthcare Providers

Non-Compliance Kills. Non-compliance isn’t just paperwork—it’s a death sentence.

Reval Continuing Care Managing Director talks about compliance and puts the record straight for healthcare providers looking to be fully compliant.

Water compliance is especially important in a care home, healthcare, or hospital setting, however, through our discussions with the sector, it’s become clear not many understand what is required. Bring clarity and understanding to the requirements that must be upheld can be described in a nutshell:
‘Any water fitting, which when installed, will carry or receive water from the public mains water supply in the UK, must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations. These require that a water fitting should not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption, or contamination of the water supply and must be ‘of an appropriate quality and standard’.


So how do care providers ensure they are meeting these requirements when specifying bathing apparatus and equipment?

The only way is to request compliance certificates from potential suppliers when purchasing bathroom appliances. While all water fittings and associated materials must by law conform with the Water Supply Regulations 1999,1 there is no legal requirement to obtain WRAS Approval; it is simply the easiest and most reliable way of demonstrating compliance. According to the Water Supply Regulations, it is down to the installer to ensure that water fittings meet the criteria. WRAS Approval provides valuable peace of mind both for you and your customers.

Care providers need to be confident that the equipment they purchase is of the highest quality to ensure reliability and service continuity whilst meeting stringent quality standards and legal requirements.

The materials and components of construction used in assisted bathing systems must be tested and subjected to the water industries WRAS Category 5 standard. This is to demonstrate the compliance with WRAS category 5 and BS6920. Marketing a product and stating it has WRAS-approved components incorporated, does not guarantee compliance!  Moreover, such language should serve as a warning, and companies using such language should be carefully scrutinised prior to purchasing from them. 

The only way to be sure of equipment compliance would be for your prospective supplier to provide you with a Water Regulatory Advisory Scheme (WRAS) category 5 certificate of approval. That approval must have a live listing on the online WRAS Aapprovalss directory.

In the absence of an authentic certificate and directory listing of approval, the appliance cannot be legally installed to UK mains water. The only way would be via a special dispensation from your Local Water Authority, which is highly unlikely as BS6920 is a British Standard.   

It is responsibility of the care operator or healthcare provider to contact the local water authority and provide product details to secure the necessary approval for appliance installation. No one tells you to insure your car, but you know you have to do it, this is exactly the same.


Here the Water Regs UK outlines how to comply:
1. Ensure the equipment is of an appropriate quality and standard.2
2. Ensure the installation is safe by notifying the local water undertaker at least 10 working days before the equipment is installed.2
3. To prevent bathing and wastewater contaminating drinking water supplies install the correct level of backflow protection.2


Dangers and Health Risks

‘Bathing equipment in hospitals, nursing, and care homes is categorised as a fluid category 5 risk, a serious health hazard. To protect patients, residents, and staff, as well as the wider community, the supplies to all tap and shower outlets must be protected by a backflow arrangement rated as providing fluid category 5 protection.’2

An example of where back-flow can occur is when taps and shower handsets are dipped or left submerged in bathwater and the water supply pressure drops.  This action causes a vacuum in the appliance’s pipework. The vacuum action will then back-syphon the bathwater along with any of the bathers’ pathogens, bacteria, soaps, and emollients transferred during bathing, into the building’s freshwater ring main. These pathogens can potentially find their way through an entire building plumbing system if safety devices are not installed and can potentially be discharged anywhere in your building, such as a wash basin or a kitchen sink where food and drink are being prepared.

This level of contamination risk also threatens and potentially extends to adjacent buildings connected to the same main water supply, potentially causing downstream contamination and health and safety hazards to others.  

In the event an operator is found to be the source of the contamination, cost, and fines can be imposed based on the level of contamination clean-up and impact on health and safety caused, etc. The typical cost of a contaminated zone clean-up is likely to be considerable, not including the reputational damage. Non-compliance might also have potential insurance implications in respect to owners and operators found to be responsible for contamination caused by a non-compliant appliance.

To ensure peace of mind and compliance, care providers should request evidence that bathing appliances are compliant, and tested against all appropriate standards as previously highlighted. A possible and effective solution could be for the CQC to incorporate compliance via category 5/BS6920 certification into its inspection process.


There are three specific things you should bear in mind:

  • Understand the regulations and guidance.
  • Comply with the regulations.
  • Uphold your duty of care to staff, patients/residents by being aware of the compliance. 

Due to the inherent vulnerabilities in care home and hospital settings, the likelihood of contamination and infection outbreaks is increased. Those who are cared for should expect to be safe from exposure to infections. So how can that be achieved in an environment where multiple individuals may use the same bathing facilities?

Those operating in healthcare premises have a duty to comply with Water Regulations and ensure medical appliances are procured to assure a higher level of Fluid Category 5 backflow protection. Fluid Category 5 represents a serious health hazard because of the concentration of pathogenic organisms, or very toxic substances, including any fluid, which contains faecal material or other human waste, etc.


As such, Category 5 defines a serious health risk, and appliances must be:

  • Designed and manufactured to be of an appropriate quality and standard.
  • Suitable for the circumstances where they are used.
  • Installed so they comply with the regulations.

Non-Approved or Compliant Appliances

Amazingly there are numerous non-approved or compliant appliances marketed, sold, and installed in the UK healthcare sector. The very fact this is happening raises a lot of interesting questions, especially for those responsible for policing the standard.

Such technical compliance at this level is a “Dark-Art”, but free and impartial help and advice are on hand simply by going to the Water Regs UK www.waterregusuk.co.uk and WRAS Approvals www.wrasapprovals.co.uk websites where you can read and learn more about the materials, standards and certification process and requirements. 

Consider the ramifications of using non-compliant appliances in a care home or healthcare setting bathroom; not only does it pose a safety risk, but it could also lead to an offense or a cost consequence when instructed to remove the appliance.

Given all that, it might be worth checking your appliances, just to be on the safe side.

If you have any concerns and would like to discuss them with the author, please don’t hesitate to contact Jason Ashman at: j.ashman@revalcc.com

  1. https://www.legislation.gov.uk
  2. https://www.waterregsuk.co.uk

Reval Continuing Care Celebrates 20 Years of Service with Special 20% Discount

In a momentous celebration of two decades of dedicated service, Reval Continuing Care is marking its 20th anniversary.

Since its inception in 2004, Reval Continuing Care has stood as a beacon of excellence in the healthcare sector, providing comprehensive and compassionate care to those in need. Over the years, Reval has expanded its services, incorporating the latest in assisted bathing and showering technology to ensure the highest standards of patient care. Their commitment to excellence and the well-being of their clients has made them a trusted name in well-being services.

To commemorate this significant milestone, Reval Continuing Care is thrilled to announce an exclusive 20% discount deal for all their services. This generous offer is aimed at making their top-notch care services more accessible to a broader audience.


Jason Ashman, Managing Director of Reval Continuing Care


This anniversary discount is available to both new and existing clients, ensuring that more people can benefit from Reval’s specialised care services. Whether it’s rehabilitation, elderly care, or long-term health management, Reval’s team of professionals is committed to providing personalised and compassionate care.

As Reval Continuing Care steps into its third decade, the organisation remains dedicated to innovation and excellence in its field with a focus on expanding its services and reaching more individuals in need, Reval continues to uphold its reputation as a leading provider of fully compliant and comprehensive bathing appliances.

 

Join us on our free live webinar

We would love you to join us for an exclusive opportunity to revolutionise your bed bathing practices.

We’re excited to offer you a free webinar featuring Brian Bartlett, a distinguished product specialist, as he takes you on an enlightening journey through the world of bed bath systems.

Discover the future of patient care with our market-leading solution in this free live demonstration.

Don’t miss this chance to elevate your healthcare standards – reserve your spot now!

Register at our EventBrite page.

 

Experience Superior Assisted Showering at the Residential and Home Care Show 18-19th May 2022 Excel London

Reval Continuing Care will be demonstrating assisted showering excellence with their Super Six assisted showering range.

The expertly designed and manufactured assisted showering range is the pinnacle of assisted showering for optimum comfort, safety, comfort and personal care, and will be on display in a life sized fully functioning wet room at stand D70.

The Reval Supper Six are; Ruby mobile showering unit, Soflex commode and shower chair, Crystal shower trollies, Opale wall panel hygiene shower systems, Iris fully profiling mobile shower and toileting system and Amber variable height shower stretcher.

The Reval team will take you through what it really means to have assisted showering products that are fit for purpose. Designed with patient dignity and safety in mind the team will be sharing key features and benefits of products designed to support personal hygiene routines with ease.

Visitors will be able to take their pick of assisted showering solutions and learn more about how Reval’s Super Six range will never fail in a busy care environment.

Jason Ashman, Head of Global Business at Reval says: “You might have an empty wet room or are looking for an assisted showering solution. You could even be looking for more energy and water efficiency, whatever your needs our stand is where you need to be. Learn about how showering can bring new efficiencies in the delivery of care as well as minimise use of energy and resources in a Residential and Home Care Show first – a fully functioning wet room.”

Recent feedback from Deb Smith, Health and Safety Manager Infection Prevention and Control Lead Risedale at Abbey Meadow had this to say about one of our Super Six, the Ruby mobile shower unit: “We purchased our first Ruby in July 2013 specifically for our service users with the most complex of physical health needs. This has and continues to provide them with the ability to ‘feel’ the sensation of water whilst remaining within the comfort of their own familiar surroundings, within a calming atmosphere, whilst being comfortable and safe.

“Since then, in 2021 we purchased four more Ruby systems for use at all our other homes within the organisation, recognising that we are able to provide this experience for other service users with differing needs, including those at the end of life.

“Where service users were unable to safely undertake bathing or seated showering, the Ruby has given back to them this ability; whilst maintaining dignity, comfort, safety, and the therapy that water brings.”

Leaders in assisted showering solutions, Reval has always maintained one single working philosophy ‘To cultivate deep empathy for customers needs to provide and delight them with positive dignified and life-changing solutions.’

Reval’s vision is to transform the lives of those people living with health and mobility challenges through sustainable wellbeing. By promoting hygiene and rehabilitative solutions that focus on the safe and dignified needs of each individual.

See the Super Six for yourself at the Residential and Home Care Show 18-19th May 2022 Excel London stand D70. Register here

 

 

Reval Chosen To Supply Luxury Care Home Development

Reval were chosen to provide a bespoke assisted bathing solution for a luxury 24-hour personalised nursing and dementia care development by Baycroft in Flitwick, Bedfordshire.

Understanding the importance of design, and the impact that has on well-being, the care group were keen to secure the very best in assisted bathing, but without compromise on the overall interior design scheme. The brief was specific; the Transcare baths selected had to be manufactured to a specific colour to match the interior design.

Chris Prescott, national sales manager at Reval says: “Reval baths are usually manufactured with a distinctive plum accent colour throughout. But hearing of the outstanding design plans for the interior of the home we were committed to using our expertise and knowhow to help meet the clients specific requirements and execute their exact vision.”

“We manufactured the Transcare baths in two different pantone reference options allowing their design team to select the right shade for their carefully considered bathroom interiors.

“The mission of the care company is very much about no compromise for their residents. I am delighted we could contribute to this philosophy and provide a product that provides comfort and dignity for their residents individual needs whilst being at the forefront of style and design.”

  

Reval’s vision is to transform the lives of those people living with health and mobility challenges by promoting hygiene and rehabilitative solutions that focus on the safe and dignified needs of each individual and the overall impact on their sustainable well-being. By providing innovative product solutions with exceptional levels of service we are to be recognised globally as industry experts and the first-choice supplier for acute and long-term care.

Click here see Frontier Estates Video Tour of Flitwick Luxury Care Home

Visit Us At Rehacare 2019- Hall 5 Stand F24

Our International Representative Jason Ashman and the Reval team look forward to seeing you on our stand at Rehacare International Trade Fair for Rehabilitation and Care.

Come along between 18th – 21st September 2019 to talk to us about our industry leading technologies, our innovative approach to care and see some of our live product demonstrations.

We will be waiting for you in Hall 5, on stand F24

Click to register for your tickets

We Are Recruiting – UK North West Area Sales Manager

An outstanding career opportunity has arisen to join the Reval Team as  North West Area Sales Manager.

This is a fantastic opportunity for someone seeking a career or advancement in sales. You would be joining a well-established brand leader and will have the opportunity to build a business and your career within the healthcare sector.

To apply please  send your CV to Lynette Morris – lynette@revalcc.com

To find out more about the position please CLICK HERE

 

On Hand To Support You When It’s Needed Most

Meet our newly appointed UK Technical Support Manager, Jon.

Having been a valued member of the Reval technical team for over 7 years Jon has now been appointed to oversee the Technical assistance offered by Reval from the UK. On hand to lead and support his fellow colleagues aswell as offering senior technical assistance to our National and International stakeholders.