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Breaking down the barriers to providing safe patient care

Patient Safety is the leading business platform connecting healthcare professions who are keen on improving patient care.

Now embarking on its 18th edition, Patient Safety has rapidly become the must-attend healthcare conference for medical professionals.

CEO Interviews

Connecting you to the future of patient care

Before co-founding GAMA with Dr. Guy Braverman, Allen Hanouka was an Ophthalmologist at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Realising that infection prevention methods were lacking for healthcare professionals working on the wards, Braverman and Hanouka left practice to start GAMA in 2004, which 17 years later, has become an internationally recognised infection prevention specialist. 

Tell us about your company’s products or solutions that enhance patient safety

GAMA Healthcare is a dynamic, innovative company at the forefront of infection prevention technology. We specialise in manufacturing and distributing revolutionary infection prevention and control (IPC) products and providing exceptional aftercare support. 

Including our head office in Hemel Hempstead, UK, we now have offices in six cities across three continents. Since we developed the world’s first universal disinfectant wipe under the Clinell brand, we have become the largest wet wipes supplier to hospitals in the UK and Australia and export our products to over 70 countries worldwide.

As joint CEOs, Dr. Guy Braverman and I initially founded GAMA in 2004 with a mission to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). Every year, over four million people in Europe acquire a Healthcare Associated Infection, with 37,000 dying as a direct result. For patients, HCAIs are dangerous, life-altering and potentially fatal.

During the early days of our practice, we were conscious of the lack of hygiene practised at key touchpoints within the hospital. This led to us inventing our first breakthrough product in 2006, Clinell Universal Wipes, which is still a bestseller and used by over 91 per cent of NHS hospitals in the UK. 

Our products focus on the different touchpoints throughout a patient’s journey when inside a hospital, from the surfaces that the patient interacts with — whether it is the hospital infrastructure or instruments used by GPs and surgeons. Surface disinfection is now a cornerstone of infection prevention policies.

Our Clinell product range provides a complete solution for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and medical devices to reduce the incidences of HCAIs, protect patients and staff, and reduce hospital expenditure.

Patients are the most common source of microorganisms in a hospital setting. Infected and colonised patients (and hospital staff) shed bacteria, viruses, and spores into the hospital environment. Studies have shown that within 48 hours of admission, 39 per cent of patients have at least one hospital-associated pathogen on their hands. Our antimicrobial hand wipes for cleaning and disinfecting hands have a patented formula that kills 99.999 per cent of germs without needing soap and water.

Our Chlorhexidine Bathing range provides large, disposable, antiseptic, all-over body cleansing cloths and shampoo caps, which offers the perfect solution for pre-admission or ITU bathing. Our formula binds to the skin for six hours after application, providing extra protection during the patient’s stay at the hospital.

Carell provides complete body cleaning, such as our Bedbath and Personal Care ranges for patients. Our barrier cleansing cloths provide effective continence care that helps reduce the incidence of incontinence-associated dermatitis and pressure ulcers. Nurses report that the clothes are a lot kinder to patients’ skin and staff find them easy to use. The whole process is quicker and more dignified for patients.

Our recent focus has been on reducing the spread of infections via air transmissions. That is why we created Rediroom, the world’s first pop-up isolation room, designed to combat the spread of HCAIs in healthcare environments.

Rediroom is a temporary, single-patient, isolation room designed to isolate infectious patients under the contact of droplet precautions. It is a cost and time-effective method of isolating infectious patients. We have also invested in producing an instant air purification device, Rediair, that makes poorly ventilated areas safer.

Pathogens, particulates, and odours linger in poorly ventilated spaces. Breathing, talking, and coughing can spread pathogens such as influenza or coronavirus via the generation of aerosols or droplets, which can remain in the air for over an hour. That is why we created Rediair to trap the airborne contaminants right away.

All our products are designed to reduce the risk of HCAI from infection spreading via skin surface or air.

Patient Safety 2022 sees a return to the traditional in-person format. What are you looking forward to the most from in-person interactions at this year’s show?

We have been visiting this region since 2008 and have actively participated in exhibitions, strengthening our partnerships and supporting our customers. It would be great to have these conversations in person, further solidifying our ties to the region. It is always better to show our products live and demonstrate their capability to the audience.

What are you showcasing at Patient Safety this year?

We will display our Environmental Surface Care range, Patient Skincare and Capital Technologies at the Patient Safety event. We will also showcase live demos, of which I would like to mention the Rediair demonstration that will show the pull of air particles and its efficiency in cleaning the air.

Rediroom will be on display, so our visitors can note the quick set-up and breakdown time for this effective isolation method in person. Our visitors will also receive samples and trials from our Clinell range to test for themselves the efficacy of our products. 

 

Nearly three years on from the start of the pandemic, how has patient safety changed?

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of IPC. Specifically, the fundamentals such as hand hygiene, environmental decontamination, use of PPE and patient isolation have been reinforced to reduce the risk of transmission of various infectious diseases. There is a wealth of evidence supporting how IPC fundamentals can reduce the risk of transmission of infections.

Recently, the spotlight has been shone on ventilation and how good ventilation can play a role in reducing the risk of airborne transmission of infections. Poor ventilation has been highlighted as a risk factor for the transmission of various respiratory pathogens (such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza) as infectious aerosols (which are expelled when people breathe or cough) can build up in poorly ventilated areas.

Improving ventilation has been a significant challenge for healthcare providers, workplaces, and homes across the globe. Still, it can be achieved through natural means (opening of windows) and mechanical means (use of air filtration units for example).

Please tell us about your future plans

We have a large R&D centre called the Fellows Research Centre (FRC), based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, that is permanently engaged in discovering and developing new innovative products and improving existing ones. This enables us to find practical solutions and remains at the forefront of infection prevention innovation.

Our upcoming products include Redihood, which protects the staff and aims to reduce the risk of spreading infections via the medical practitioner. We plan to increase our market share across all our brands while accelerating the growth of the categories we operate in.

Furthermore, we continue to accelerate our expansion across many new key countries and channels.

Anything else you would like to add?

The Middle East & Africa is one of GAMA’s central growth regions. We have increased our investment in the Middle East by adding resources on the ground. This region represents an underserved market, and we will be providing training and clinical education for our customers in the area.

We will deliver best practices gained from years of experience in Infection Prevention and share clinical studies to gain valuable insights for our customers to learn and improve their practices.